Life on the planet before COVID-19 seems so far away. Many businesses had to close while others are barely hanging in there due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Thanks to vaccine developments, immunization efforts are underway and the world is slowly emerging to a post COVID world that is very different from what we have experienced before.
Here are some ways COVID-19 changed the world as we knew it.
Before COVID hit our planet, some businesses invested time and money into digital transformation. However, not many businesses were too interested in this idea.
This all changed once the pandemic hit. Many businesses realized that contactless transactions could help reduce virus transmission so many businesses across the globe were forced to take radical steps to adopting technological advances in order to save their businesses.
Industries like hospitality, education, retail and healthcare had to adapt quickly to the changing landscape and digitize not only transactions but also the way they do business.
For example online meetings, webinars and cashless transactions are more prominent today than they were pre COVID and experts agree that digitalization will become the norm in the near future.
COVID-19 hit countries like the UK, USA and France very severely. Many were baffled how these advanced nations had major gaps in their healthcare systems.
Studies showed that more than half of citizens in the US with employer sponsored insurance delayed check-ups due to additional costs. In fact, over 68% of respondents reported that treatment cost played a large part in their decision to seek treatment if they had COVID-19. In cases like this, delaying treatment contributed to prolonging the pandemic while exacerbating economic impact.
Aside from healthcare reform, employees should also make it a priority to focus on the health of their employees. Mental health issues should also be addressed since many employees are working at home which can cause isolation, anxiety and depression in some people.
Growth Of Online Education
Many school kids around the world are also stuck at home. In order to minimize transmission of the virus, many schools have opted for online education instead of face-to-face classes. Many schools were unprepared to go online which resulted in confusion and chaos.
Despite all this, many schools have implemented online teaching that suits their requirements. This emerging business trend might be new and faces many challenges. However, many schools are coping very well to the changes. They have discovered (and are continuing to discover) ways to make assignments, tests and lectures interesting despite being held online.
Supply Chain Evaluation
The COVID-19 pandemic made the whole world realize how dependent we are on China. When the country shut down early last year in order to limit virus transmission, supply chains were disrupted around the world. This is the reason why businesses worldwide realized that they had to reconfigure their supply chain in order to avoid business disruption should a new pandemic emerge in the future.
Trends like patronizing local manufacturers are gaining traction. Strategies such as adopting a multi-tier approach are also becoming popular. These strategies will make it easier for businesses to manage logistics and inventory better.
Online Work and Remote Teams
While working from home is nothing new, it took off when the pandemic hit many countries around the world. Working from home used to be reserved for freelancers but lockdowns forced traditional office workers to shift to online work.
Online tools like collaboration apps, online video conferencing and the like are seeing a spike in demand since the pandemic started. Adapting to this new way of working has allowed many businesses to continue operations smoothly.
Experts agree that going back to traditional office working might not come back 100% post COVID. Many people will want to either work at home permanently or seek a more flexible work schedule in order to accommodate their needs for life-work balance.
Many countries are hopeful for 2021. With mass vaccinations going on in many countries and Australia to start sometime in February, businesses are optimistic that the economy will experience a turnaround this year.
Despite the positivity, these emerging business trends are projected to stay with us. Dubbed as the “new normal”, will not only change the way we do business but also the way we live our lives in a post COVID world.