AOE Announces 2020 Business Operating Trends in Survey

2020 business operating trends
2020 Business Operating Trends Infographic.
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Advancing Organizational Excellence (AOE) is a full-service consulting firm. The firm has unique expertise serving professional service and technical industries. AOE has announced the results of its 2020 business operating trends survey.

The goal of the survey was to identify how the COVID-19 pandemic altered business operations. The survey also outlines what to expect in 2021. The online survey took place in December. Respondents included professionals in the architecture, engineering, construction, chemical and other technical industries from across the United States.

“This survey validated that our business norms and communication methods have changed, likely forever,” said Kimberly Kayler, CPSM, President of AOE. “The role of marketing and communication has never been more integral to the success of an organization.”

Findings from the survey include:
  • 100 percent of participants changed their business operations or strategies in 2020. This was because of COVID-19. 74 percent anticipate these changes will continue into 2021.
  • The most common change to business operations identified included arranging for some or all employees to work remotely. This means holding virtual meetings and events and also increasing the role of online training.
  • Respondents noted that, with so many working remotely, employee communication became more important.
  • Approximately 45 percent of organizations reported communicating more with their employees during COVID-19 than during pre-pandemic times.
  • Holding weekly virtual staff meetings, rotating staff coming into the office in small groups, checking in with staff members individually through regular phone calls, instant messaging, and also virtual calls were ways that organizations kept their employees engaged.
  • Respondents noted that almost half of employees who worked in an office setting prior to the pandemic have returned to the office. Most of those who have not returned to the office are planning to return within the next year.
Additional findings
  • Almost 80 percent of participants reported adopting new processes and strategies during the pandemic. They are confident that these practices have proven beneficial and will continue into the future. Adjusting both strategic marketing plans and focusing on building relationships virtually by relying on social media, webinars and virtual meetings were changes to the marketing and sales process that are likely to continue into 2021.
  • Survey participants indicated that, along with being forced into a virtual realm, many organizations revised product and service delivery processes while also cutting budgets. There were many budget cuts in marketing, sales, travel and training.
  • Although there is apprehension about the economy, participants also worry about maintaining business operations with smaller budgets, finding a qualified workforce and navigating the work-from-home environment.
About Advancing Organizational Excellence (AOE)

Advancing Organizational Excellence (AOE) is a full-service consulting firm with unique expertise serving professional service and technical industries. AOE has decades of experience serving associations and companies in technical industries. From full association management to consulting services ranging from marketing and event planning to HR and strategic planning, AOE has a team of 90-plus employees with hands-on, real-world experience. AOE invests 100 percent of profits back in the industries the team serves. For more information, visit

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