The operating mindset is clear: we are in the middle of a war with an invisible enemy. No one knows how long this would last. In fact, the end of this is not so near and remains unclear, as we do not have any available coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine. The need for one has been emphasized all the more after President Rodrigo Duterte offered a P10-million reward to anyone who can produce it.
The most we can do for now is to stay in our homes, manage our resources, and trust that the government is doing its best to minimize or mitigate the huge impact this global health crisis created. At some point, though, as we design our new and unique normal environment moving forward, one thing is clear: we need to maximize resources, both at home and work, to ensure we survive this crisis.
Baby boomers may be more familiar with maximizing resources, given that they are the children of those who survived World War 2. However, from Generation X onward, none of us would have training on this as we were introduced in a world where access to many things is already provided. That is not the case right now.
To effectively maximize resources at home, you could leverage on community commerce, where individuals sell their products and services based on need or interest. The ability to choose from vendors within a community, be it based on need or interest, is there and consumers can leverage on the best possible price and most cost-effective way to receive the goods. There are also many platforms available to get your groceries, whether through online delivery (do this in advance and buy in bulk to save on time and resources) or FB marketplace. There are many ways to maximize your access to what your household requires. This approach addresses the supply need.
Practicing first-in, first-out in your pantry is also a good habit to develop prior to using new stocks. This allows for effective menu planning and creative ways to serve food to the family, especially when you only have a limited number of meat varieties. One cannot just have adobo every day. The need for variety and creativity cannot be overemphasized at this point, given the pervasive monotony in our lives. In fact, one good thing about being under quarantine is being able to observe in granular detail the dishes that work best and pantry staples that are more enjoyed by the family. This, then, makes for a more deliberate grocery shopping list and a robust, tried-and-tested menu plan, instead of blindly adding many things to your cart that may not necessarily be consumed or used at once. It is good to always get fresh ideas from the many platforms available, including conversations with friends and like-minded individuals who believe in the same philosophy.
As an entrepreneur, it is also imperative for you to maximize resources in the workplace. From what we could see now, more businesses are now going digital, and that developing capabilities in the digital space or focusing on (or redeveloping) your strategy on digital will help drive your business at this point. A lot of technology companies offer their services and platforms at no cost for a certain period to allow organizations to leverage on these capabilities as they develop their “new normal.”
Online learning, for example, is now considered imperative at the national level, and this is something universities and colleges would have to think long and hard in terms of executing and combining this with an effective instructional design. Employee engagement, as another point of interest, is also gaining traction as a way of fostering collaboration and engagement among employees using a digital platform. Most of these are cloud-based applications, which can be accessed by your employees who are working from home, and there are also capabilities available to ensure that access remains secure and authenticated to prevent any breach.
The idea is to encourage using these capabilities now to assess how your business can thrive in this age of uncertainty while the entire world is dealing with this pandemic. As we go along, we will see the emergence of new business models that would pave the way for defining a new normal for all of us. We will do what we can to survive.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include nation-building, education and financial literacy. The author may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.