Lessons that Covid-19 has taught professionals in the Engineering services industry

On December 31st, 2019 as the clock struck twelve, we prayed and hoped that 2020 would be a year of fulfillment and success. No one would have ever imagined the devastation this year would bring to the world in the following weeks to come. Today, after several months into the pandemic economies have slowed down while businesses continue to face unprecedented challenges to ensure they remain afloat. While most sectors have been negatively impacted by Covid-19, the engineering sector in India has been set back by about two years. Amidst all this chaos, there are key lessons that professionals in the engineering service industry must retain.

1. Communication is Key 
Physical interactions and discussion within teams are a few of the essential tools to ensure success. With a screen put between these interactions, the dynamic between team members has changed drastically and the organic process of developing ideas may be hindered. In this period of uncertainty, communication becomes the strongest tool while businesses function remotely via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. Professionals must constantly check in with their team members regarding progress and new ideas to ensure this form of communication gets normalized sooner. Non-verbal communication is something that is often overlooked and almost impossible to achieve when working remotely. The importance of it though must not diminish and professionals that motivate others to talk about their anxiety or emotions during these uncertain times create a more productive environment. 

2. Golden Opportunity for Innovation & Creativity 
In the face of adversity, individuals often become creative and innovative to find solutions. The Coronavirus is adversity we have never faced in our lifetime, allowing innovative minds to engineer new solutions and tread into new areas. Laying off staff is not the sole solution to reduce costs, professionals need to think creatively and aim to benefit from the situation instead. Several companies are choosing to launch new products or venture into new markets, turning their negative scenarios into opportunities. Engineering also heavily relies on some hands-on tasks, hence professionals must recognize this and invest in the integration of robots for future benefits. Furthermore, they must innovate new technology which will allow companies to gain leverage on the company’s finances and operations. 

3. Flexibility & Diligence 
The pandemic has shown us that a company’s ability to adapt to constant changes is the only way it will remain buoyant. The company is only as good as its employees and hence, professionals must be open to new regulations and methods of working to ensure a smooth transition. Professionals must ensure they are still working effectively and efficiently even though they can work on their own time. Working from home may instead be more productive than regular office hours as there are no breaks for causal chit-chat and gossip. Being self-aware and planning could go a long way in ensuring a successful work from home experience and ensure progress.

4. Focus on Customers 
The way customers purchase has drastically changed in these times, and the engineering service industry needs to recognize this change. It may become necessary for professionals to rethink their sales strategies and keep in mind the price constraints their customers may have. In the long term, customer success will translate to company success, and hence, it would be crucial to advise customers appropriately, have a conversation about the Coronavirus and build a relationship based on trust. Checking in with customers on a frequent basis would also make professionals better equipped to solve problems, and serve their customers better. 

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