Reopening Of America: What Will This Look Like For Businesses Across The U.S.
The future is looking bright. The world is slowly starting to open up. But let's face it: this 'new normal' we've experienced this past year isn't going away anytime soon. While many of us are eager to step outside and resume life as we once knew it, we must face the fact that the shifts, changes, and adjustments as a result of the pandemic are here to stay. COVID forced many companies to question their communications supply chain, rethink their business models, and adjust their distributions to meet the new needs of their consumer base. As we prepare for life post-pandemic, this leaves us with the question of: what does reopening look like for businesses across the U.S.?
Most companies are heading toward a hybrid workplace where a large number of office employees rotate in and out of newly configured shared spaces, according to a survey conducted by PwC of 133 executives and 1,200 office workers. But whether leadership is considering hybrid, remote, or full-return options in the coming months, there's a need for a solutions architect to streamline the welcome-back process and help re-imagine print and graphics solutions.
As businesses begin to reopen on a broader scale, restaurants, stores, convention centers, and stadiums are faced with new operational challenges, including upping safety measures for patrons still cautious to step out while welcoming those more eager. In many cases, this starts with effective signage, graphics, and other collateral to clearly convey COVID procedures, indicate traffic flow, and encourage social distancing while encouraging patronage and excitement.
One thing we know for certain is that we'll need to move quickly. Work is changing at a breakneck pace, and so are printing and business demands. In fact, FedEx Office is seeing an uptick in requests for posters, signs, and banners for companies that need to communicate policy changes on a mass scale, efficiently, and seamlessly.
At FedEx Office we firmly believe that flexibility is the new currency of the workplace, and emphasize the importance of assisting companies as they pivot, flex, and scale to meet needs inside and outside of their organizations. As businesses begin to rollout reopening plans, we encourage them to determine the most effective ways to provide a safe and inviting space for all visitors, guests, and workers. Here are a few tips to help guide the business community facing these new challenges:
- Make it clear they're open: Guests and visitors who have seen shuttered doors for months may not realize they have reopened. Creative, colorful signs can convey a clear message they are back in business and ready with open doors.
- Be consistent with the guidelines: Utilize COVID-19 signage templates to keep any provided information consistent across various office parks, stores, or event spaces. This includes floor decals or a-frame signs that help with directional flow in businesses.
- Begin advertising again: As foot traffic starts to increase, companies can take advantage of banners, flyers, and posters to spread the word they're open, and take the proper steps to ensure safety. Personalization is key, and having an innovative partner up front to determine the most effective multi-point communication strategy that makes speed to market, quality, and cost control top priorities is critical.
- Reconnect with customers: Big or small, every business was hit hard from the pandemic and without loyal customer support, many would not have survived. As businesses reopen, help them reconnect with customers and thank them for their ongoing support in innovative ways.
The pandemic forced us to change our protocols, safety measures, and how our businesses operate overall. Now, it's up to us to ensure we are well-equipped to meet the new requirements and get ready to reopen.
Aimee DiCicco is the SVP of Commercial Business Development at FedEx Office.