While countries around the world do their utmost to enable a return to normality, in times of crisis it is also recognised that certain factors can leverage dramatic socio-political change and the coronavirus pandemic could just be one such phenomenon.
In business life, as a result of the Covid-19 – we are already witnessing several interesting effects:
Effect on our working lives
With many employees and independent contractors now working from home, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of e-meeting platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting and Skype. In fact, e-communication channels not only function well, they can clearly be more attractive to companies from a price-point perspective and one which should be considered as a viable alternative for at least a certain percentage of executive travel in future.
Effect on travel and the environment
With fewer people traveling, this would undoubtably have a domino effect on support industries such as hospitality and airlines. For example with the UK Government now seriously discussing the possibility of owning a stake in BA and other airlines, one can imagine more controls in the future with regard to service volumes, seat availability and pricing. All of which could support the UK Government’s commitment for the country to become carbon neutral by 2050.
Effect on the Information Technology sector
As a majority of employees now work from home, there has been a surge in the number of IT companies offering homeworking set-up and support services. Once frowned upon by many, home working is now accepted standard practice, even if all stakeholders might still need time to catch up in terms of optimising operational parameters, efficiency and support.
Not only in the workplace but also domestically we are all having to purchase all except basic food and medicine on line. The online retail sector is booming in certain areas and delivery services are pressed to capacity and more. Will this be year when online retail becomes the mainstream.
Stuck in the confines of home has pushed many of the most averse to online social networking to increase their presence there, and consumption of online services, for example video streaming. This is already pushing network bandwidth and is likely to precipitate (and indirectly finance) a further stepwise increase in network infrastructure.
Out of the box entrepreneurial leadership.
On professional networks we are already witnessing a transition from messages of sympathy and solidarity by leaders to their piers’ and other industry sectors, to those leaders thinking out-of-the box offering concrete actions. These represent new ways of approaching some of the problems caused by Covid-19. For instance:
- In the US, Logitech has launched free solutions for educators from kindergarten through to 12th Grade. Teachers can request a complimentary webcam and headset bundle from a dedicated application website to continue teaching outside of the classroom.
- In the UK fast food restaurant Leon (www.leon.co) is now offering take away menus for health workers at 50% discount. Leon clearly states it is not making a profit on these sales and guarantees that if it does, it will use that money to feed hospital teams. In addition, some of its restaurants are now selling grocery items in effect turning these restaurants into mini supermarkets.
These are arguably visionary marketing actions from companies showing that they care and are doing something about the current situation, and should be applauded.
Most of us have experienced personal and business calamities and even disasters before – but somehow the coronavirus feels different to us all. This crisis has the power to leverage dramatic socio-political change and fundamentality restructure how we think, work and live. And that might be a good thing. This could facilitate a move from stakeholder to shareholder value with companies and channel partners all playing a stronger role in society and not just acting as a hire and fire employee (when times are hard). It can take a world changing problem to precipitate real change.
Contractors, Employees and employers in Switzerland
As a leading authority in the employment services sector for over 20 years, Accurity continues to channel its expertise into offering our clients, contractors and recruitment agent partners a top-class service. Our brand claim is “we make Switzerland easy for you” and behind that claim is our motivated and trustworthy team which will continue to be there for all of our stakeholders at this challenging, but rich learning environment.
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