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Telework today and beyond: keys to business continuity

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Here we tell you the latest trends in a work scheme that is here to stay and the fundamental implementations that organizations must do to adapt to it.

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October 13, 2020 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the inescapable need for organizations to redefine their labor schemes in the current situation and new market trends. In this scenario, setting up virtual offices that allow them to continue with operations, despite adverse circumstances, was not a choice, but a must . Tools that were useful before are essential today.

Technology offers a wide range of possibilities to carry out the workday remotely, with collaborative management applications that allow to organize teams effectively, carry out projects and establish communication through various channels, among other solutions.

Thus, in times of crisis like the current one, the digital workplace becomes relevant, a concept that proposes an evolution of the traditional office towards an environment where there is not only a physical workspace, but one connected by the cloud. The integration of technologies enhances interaction and fosters interconnectivity, from anywhere and at any time, in addition to, of course, putting the resources of an organization within the reach of all its collaborators.

In this context, it is essential that digitization is carried out in a transversal way, that is, that it does not concern only one sector, but encompasses all the processes, with the aim of guaranteeing the optimal functioning of all the areas that comprise to a company.

Regional growth numbers

In 2019, Xertica carried out the “First Latin American study on digital workplace ”, an investigation that had the participation of 111 Human Resources leaders from Latin America, with the aim of knowing the motivations that encourage executives to advance in their implementation. At that time, 76% had already adopted or were implementing a digital workplace project, and 59% planned to do so in the next two years.

The quarantine accelerated the launch of the digital transformation process. According to the Gartner 2020 Digital Workplace Survey , 68% of the companies surveyed said that they adopted a digital workplace strategy since the beginning of the global spread of the virus.

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Business

3 Crucial Risk-Avoidance Strategies to Protect Your Business

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October 20, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The current circumstances have had a major disruptive effect on around the world. Many countries have imposed lockdowns to various degrees, limiting movement locally and internationally. Add the fact that markets (stocks, futures, bonds, etc.) have seen tremendous levels of volatility in many countries and businesses around the world are facing an unprecedented situation both in terms of present and potential impact on future operations.

Still,business must go on in one form or another. Although some industries are harder hit than others, all companies will have to take proactive steps to minimize the negative impact of this crisis and come out on the other side stronger. Here are three major areas where action is essential now.

1. Contracts

Whether it’s contracts with suppliers, clients, partners or any other , there is a higher chance that contractual terms will be breached as a result of all the disruption that’s taking place. These breaches are dangerous because they could cause a ripple effect and potentially cripple business operations. For example, where a supplier fails to deliver the material you need to manufacture your products for onward delivery to clients whom you have contractual obligations to.

At this point, it’s crucial to get in touch with all persons you have a contract with to confirm what their status is and if they will be able to continue. You might also be the party who is unable to fulfil your side of a contract, so be sure to have an experienced legal practitioner review all your contracts to see exactly what your obligations are in each one of them.

Depending on the nature of the contract and how your business operations have been impacted by the pandemic, you might be able to invoke force majeure to relieve your business of potential liability. Asdefined by Cornell University, it’s “a provision commonly found in contracts that frees both parties from obligation if an extraordinary event prevent one or both parties from performing.” Be sure to get a professional opinion before taking any steps on this though, as there are a few conditions such as making effort to mitigate the disruption and giving notice in due time.

Related: The 7 Fears All Entrepreneurs Must Conquer

2. Remote Work

Employees are the lifeblood of any business, and keeping them safe, happy and productive is key to achieving success. Depending on where you operate, there might already be restrictions that mandate you to allow your employees work from home or to give them paid leave. Compliance is essential, and as quickly as possible.

“Apart from complying with the law, a failure to take the appropriate steps to keep your employees safe during the pandemic might also open you up to liability for negligence and for any illness your employees may suffer as a result” says Simon Lai, CEO ofVaporesso, a company that has more than 10,000 employees, “Nonetheless, be sure to see if your industry or business has been listed on the exemption of essential services, or you should apply to open so you are able to modify your operations and continue moving forward. In returning to the office, the key is to ensure that beyond the minimal standards set by the , you make fundamental changes to promote employees’ health, even if it means redesigning the office space. Most of our meetings have been moved online, including global workshops that we used to travel around the world to.”

Tomake the most of remote work, organize a tutorial for your employees and use video-conferencing software to hold meetings. You might also want to consider using a time-tracker app to ensure that your employees are working as they should, although that should be a last result since it can often engender resentment.

3. Sales Fluctuations

Unless your business is one that gets a boost from people spending a lot of time indoors (such as ), it is likely that you will have to deal with a reduction in sales as a result of the pandemic.

Many businesses are trying to reverse that trend by offering discounts to customers, but that might not be the best idea, especially in the long-term. No one really knows how long these lockdowns will last, so discounting your prices now might lead to a downward spiral where you begin competing solely based on price with companies doing the same, as highlighted in thisresearch paper by KPMG.

Related: How to Take the Right Risks

A better strategy, summed up by Landon Dash, CEO ofVapocorner, is to consider upping your marketing game. “It’s a much better approach to communicate the value of your products and services while adding new bonuses and relaxing your terms (return policies, for instance) instead of outright price reduction. You should also focus on building up your sales system through virtual training and mentorship to enable them leverage technology better to get more sales without diluting your brand equity.”

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Zara rescues the supermarket trolleys and makes them fashionable

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October 20, 2020 1 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Grupo Inditex and its Zara brand caused a sensation on social networks after the launch of its new collection, which included two articles almost in disuse. These are two foldable supermarket trolleys made of gray and gold-khaki padded fabric that are part of their new collection.

These products, whose price is 49.95 euros each, became the object of desire of the Spaniards, who sold out the article within a few hours of its launch, so it is expected that they will be available again soon.

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The two carts are added to several models of reusable and folding cloth bags that the brand sold for 13 euros and that seek to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics, more so now that World Environment Day is approaching.

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German carmakers report unexpectedly strong profit, but the pandemic still threatens.

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The German auto industry is bouncing back strongly from the pandemic as customers make purchases they postponed earlier in the year, earnings reports by BMW and Daimler indicate. Strong economic growth in China, a crucial market for both vehicle makers, has also helped.

But analysts say the miniboom may not last. Infections in Europe and the United States are surging, endangering sales in those two essential car markets. The profit figures “look too good to be sustainable,” Tim Rokossa, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said in a note, referring to Daimler.

BMW said late Monday that its free cash flow, a measure of profit, quadrupled to 3 billion euros, or $3.6 billion, in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. Daimler said last week that operating profit rose to €3 billion in the quarter from €2.7 billion a year earlier.

Neither company disclosed net profit in the preliminary earnings reports. Daimler will issue a detailed earnings report on Friday and BMW will do so on Nov. 4.

German carmakers have a strong influence on the economic fate of Europe. Cars and trucks are Germany’s biggest export, and German carmakers buy components from all over the continent.

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