Today we consider some of the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19 and how they will change how we live and work moving forward.
There’s no denying that the COVID-19 crisis presents many challenges on an individual level and also as a business owner. But, if you can, you should try to use this tough time as an opportunity to innovate your business processes. If you create a solid foundation and take the time now to do due diligence and secure your business for the future, you’ll be in a better position to weather the storm of another global pandemic like the COVID-19 crisis and survive a global recession.
While we can’t say exactly what damage will be caused by the COVID-19 crisis, it’s safe to say it will forever change the ways we socialise, consume, learn and work. Let’s take a look at how…
1. Streaming becomes our main means of content consumption
Online streaming is already a very popular way for consumers to receive content. But with cinemas and theatres being closed for the foreseeable future, streaming is going to become more dominant than ever. In fact, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon have already started reducing their streaming quality to lessen the strain on internet service providers brought on by a surge in demand.
Events for large, in-person audiences may start streaming them for fans that have to self-isolate at home. While live events like sports games and concerts will eventually start running again once the crisis is over, experts believe that lots of fans may opt to stay at home and watch them streamed live to save money on expensive tickets.
2. Rise in telecommunication and videoconferencing
In an attempt to contain the coronavirus as much as possible, offices are closing and people are being encouraged to work at home if possible. Therefore, many businesses will need to use the internet to stay up and running. Instead of us completing tasks and communicating face to face, to maintain social distancing we will now rely on the internet and remote software applications like Zoom and Slack. Webex, a leading solution for video conferencing and online meetings, has reported 6.7 billion meeting minutes in March so far, which is a significant growth from the 6 billion in January.
There are pros and cons of internet-based work for businesses. If you find that the entirety of your business’ operations can be run by employees working from home, they won’t have to spend hours of their time commuting and you’ll save on leasing an office space. Using telecommunication methods allows you to hire talented employees from across the UK and save on overheads when you need to most.
3. More restrictions on mass consumption
Due to nationwide panic-buying and stockpiling, supermarkets across the UK have empty shelves and many healthcare professionals and other members of the public haven’t had access to the essentials. Therefore, society will be forced to accept restrictions on mass consumer culture in order to defend ourselves against future crises and keep the population happy.
4. The uprising of telemedicine
It’s likely that the COVID-19 crisis will shift where our healthcare delivery takes place. Telemedicine historically has sat on the side-lines, but with traditional care settings being strained from the pandemic and many GP surgeries avoiding face-to-face consultations wherever possible, remote office visits will skyrocket out of necessity. Telemedicine makes it possible for us to stay out of the waiting room, away from patients in need of critical care.
5. Shift in political debates
With there being much uncertainty and anger regarding how people will get paid if they are told to self-isolate, universal basic income and mandatory sick pay leave will no longer be in the margins and will become the centre of policy debates.
6. Less communal dining
With restaurants across the UK closing, consumers will no longer have the chance to catch up with friends and family over a tasty meal in their favourite eatery. As a result, lots of people will be tempted to get creative in the kitchen and may even fall back in love with cooking.
Food delivery providers are set to actually increase their revenue. While it's not possible to eat out for the next few months, we can still get all sorts of dishes delivered to us in our homes. So, you’ll find lots of restaurant businesses that weren’t previously active on online delivery providers like Deliveroo, joining the app, and most likely remaining on them long into the future.
>> Read more:
7. Surge in online learning
With it recently being announced that schools in the UK will close, educational institutions will need to start providing online learning. Up until now, many have avoided online instruction, but they simply won’t be able to anymore with the outbreak of the coronavirus. Tutoring businesses that provide online teaching will increase in popularity and will have to expand their network of tutors to cope with the higher demand. However, online learning isn’t a foolproof solution, as certain skills like lab work for Chemistry need to be taught in person.
It’s likely that in a number of months, schools and colleges will reopen. While some believe that implementing online learning more widely, to some degree, will remain prevalent in years to come, others think that the hype around it will be abandoned, as young people forced into seclusion will appreciate communal life more than ever.
A final word
There are lots of changes happening at the moment and it’s impossible to predict the future exactly. From a business perspective, all you can do is use them for the greater good of your enterprise and prepare yourself for any future business crises.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©