What does “future-proofing” your business mean?
The last two years have shown us how quickly circumstances can change, for everyone, no matter what plans they have in place. Future-proofing has been an important part of business strategy as we have always been subject to catastrophes, from environmental to economic.
A future-proofing strategy means anticipating and preparing for possible risks in the future so that you can prevent the severity of the resulting effects when they come to pass. However, it isn’t a quick fix you can carry through, you will need a strategy for a course of action that you will continue to carry out. Remember, it’s the hard work that pays off when it comes to this since many businesses failed to adapt to the coronavirus situation.
Many countries have pledged to adopt more sustainable practices to help curb the effects of the climate crisis, so all businesses should join in if they want to help the planet and possibly themselves in the future.
- Go digital
Firstly, one of the most effective ways to future-proof your business is by embracing the power of digital technology. Despite the rise in social media and the everyday use of smartphones, most companies in the UK still haven’t fully utilised the digital workspace.
This is because around 10,000 sheets of paper are used by the average employee each year, and this equates to 4 and a half trees! At this point, there are fewer reasons to stick to paper resources in the office.
The benefits of going paperless are endless, for a couple of reasons: not only can you back up all of your work, but there are online collaborative spaces you can use with your colleagues. These workspaces are fantastic since you can easily share your work, and even work on projects together in real-time. Typically, online storage spaces are usually easier to look through, instead of having to sift through physical files that may be messy due to human error.
Additionally, one of the sneakier ways some companies are missing out is simply because consumers are getting most, if not all, of their advertising digitally. As we move into the future of digital marketing, it will soon be more and more difficult for paper adverts to keep up with the trends that change every day.
- Embrace hybrid/remote working
Since the Coronavirus pandemic, many companies have been pushed to put Working From Home (WFH) mandates in place to keep their employees safe. As of March 2021, 60% of adults were working from home in the UK, meaning many businesses were saving money on their utilities.
When managers implement a hybrid work plan for employees, they can be confident that no matter what other crises may arise in the future, the company can adapt to working under different conditions.
One of the best ways hybrid working can help employees is simply through the fact that it will help keep the number of employees off on sick leave to a minimum. This will be because there will be less mixing of people in possibly small spaces and no shared appliances will be used.
Despite the advantages of having WFH, hybrid working is said to be better as it can help many employees get the social aspect back as well as alleviate the stresses that come with the office environment.
As we move to more and more digital spaces, many have wondered whether we will ever fully return to the office in the future. By adapting and planning now, your company will be future-proof to withstand the possible challenge.
- Reduce meat consumption
A great way to help you future-proof your business is if you can promote your employees to reduce their meat consumption. Through offering your workers green products in the work kitchen or by encouraging them to take on green initiatives that can be carried out outside of the office.
Additionally, currently in the UK, there are between 2-3% of people who have 100% eradicated meat from their diet. However, there are 14% of UK adults that identify as vegetarian or vegan. These are showing the rising numbers of people who are committed to reducing their meat consumption, and this number is set to grow.
Therefore, it has never been a better time to introduce this incentive for your workers, as it can offset carbon emissions and you can use alternative food solutions to prevent your company from being affected by supply chain issues.
In 2022, an astonishing 8.8. Million Brits have planned to go meat-free this year to help reduce the effects of climate change in their everyday lives. By helping them, you can show your ability to adapt, which is the best way to future-proof your business. Being adaptable will prepare your business for multiple situations that may arise in the future.
- Use greener energy alternative sources
Changing to greener utility solutions is without a doubt the best way to future-proof your company, not only because it can reduce costs, but also because you don’t have to depend on finite sources, so you can continue to work.
The smallest way you can begin to do this is by getting a smart meter installed for free! These handy little devices can accurately measure your energy usage depending on your business energy tariff. And, you may be able to get multiple meters for the multiple sites your business has. Because of their accuracy, many suppliers have online portals where you can track your bills anywhere and at any time you wish. They are the perfect first step to track your energy to prepare yourself for the future.
Secondly, there are also other appliances you can get installed to reduce your energy intake, such as on-site solar panels on your roof. Solar panels can produce a lot of energy, meaning you won’t be relying on your provider all the time for power. They may begin with a hefty installation fee, but the savings are worth it and they can be used for years to come! This will help to prepare you for the future as many energy companies are uncertain as to whether they will prevail over the energy crisis so why not take matters into your own hands?
Lastly, another effective way to future-proof your business is by switching your utility providers! This presents you with the opportunity to take control of your energy and can help you reduce your costs so that you can focus on the more important things. Be sure to take a look at our on-site comparisons and get in touch today to see how we can help your company prepare for any new circumstances the future may bring.
As you can see from our list, these steps are easy to make to future-proof your business. If you can stick to them or even make a plan, you can be sure that your company will be able to withstand the uncertainty ahead.
However, the last couple of years has shown us that these events are never predictable and that we all need to learn together to help prevent the effect of these catastrophes in the future. With a future-proof strategy, your business can still benefit, despite what may come your way.