The entire world is currently in the throes of the COVID19 pandemic, affecting all facets of our lives. Governments of various countries have imposed lockdowns that have affected companies and office workers, making them miss their offices more. Financial institutions have concluded that the world economy will be on its worst depression since the Second World War. So many people are still being tested positive of the virus, and there seems to be no end in sight as the possibilities for a cure and a vaccine are still months, if not years away.
But then, the government can only hold their lockdowns as long as they can. China has already lifted its lockdown on Wuhan, believed to be the epicenter and origin of the virus, while reporting that its national economy will be contracting for the first time since the 1980s. Other “early adapter” countries like Japan and South Korea still demand their people to maintaining social distancing and prohibit public assemblies but have already allowed people to go back to work. This the question among people is, what will the world be once the dust has settled and we have slightly recovered from the crisis?
Digital and electronic companies will be the biggest winners
As mentioned earlier, the global economy is set to suffer one of its biggest contractions in recorded human history. A number of industries cannot fully operate since their customers are under quarantine. Companies suffering a great deal because of the crisis are tourism, transportation, and hospitality. But there are still some industries that are currently and poised to make a killing precisely because of the nature of their businesses and the consequences of this crisis Because social distancing is encouraged and people are isolated from each other, businesses that provide services and goods that precisely encourage this and discourage physical contact are seen to gain. Thus, cloud computing providers, social media platforms (although not because of ad revenue), logistics and delivery services will prosper. With the consumers’ change in attitudes and a bit of paranoia in what our lives would be after COVID19, there is a promise these businesses will continue to soar.
People are moving online to do their shopping. Already, Amazon is adding 100,000 new jobs to manage the extra demand. Some other marketplaces are struggling to add capacity. For example, online grocer Ocado has suspended new orders until it can clear its backlog of deliveries.
Working from home will be the norm, not the exception
Employees have for weeks, experienced a change in their style of work as they have been spared of having to dress up and commute to their offices. Many have found this practice favorable for them, and even once the crisis ebbs, it will be difficult for companies to not allow their employees to continue working from home, as they may not afford overhead expenses (office rent, utilities, operating expenses) anew. Moreover, travel restrictions will be stricter, companies may indeed encourage employees to stay at home and still be productive members of the company.
Investing in remote working will have far-reaching consequences on the way we work after the crisis. It is too early to say to what extent we will not go back to the old way of working, but business leaders should already think about the potential of these investments.
Cooperation may flourish in a different manner
As of the moment, countries are isolating themselves from each other by closing their borders and discouraging foreigners from entering their country. However, once we get past the COVID19 crisis, cooperation will be a norm among countries that will develop best practices on how to monitor, report, coordinate and act effectively to address future catastrophes that will lessen any adverse economic effects and hopefully save lives.
While the growing COVID-19 pandemic could strengthen nationalism and isolationism and accelerate the retreat from globalization, the outbreak also could spur a new wave of international cooperation of the sort that emerged after World War II.
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