In March 2020, the world faced an unprecedented event in the form of a global pandemic. People the world over went into lockdown, staying in their homes in an attempt to combat the deadly virus. It changed the way people did things, including working and business practices. Many companies changed the way they delivered services, and many had to shut down completely.
The shutdowns, in turn, affected the workforce and economy. Everything from public transportation and entertainment to restaurants and hair salons had to rethink their businesses. Several years later, the lasting effects of Covid in the business world are still evident. In this blog, we will explore ways businesses have shifted and changed in a world where Covid is a reality.
Table of Contents
1. Remote And Hybrid Workers
One of the biggest lasting effects in the business world that Covid brought was the shift from commuting and working in person full time to working from home. What started as a necessity during the height of the pandemic has become a choice for many workers. In fact, 68% of millennial-age workers said that a work-from-home option would greatly increase their interest in working for an employer.
There’s no doubt that working from home offers a better balance for people. It allows more time for children to take care of responsibilities while still completing professional tasks. While many prefer this option, the majority of people do prefer to go into the office even on a hybrid schedule. They feel it makes them more productive and connected to their co-workers.
2. Safety Concerns
General safety concerns have lingered since the pandemic, which has led to many businesses rethinking their security issues, both physically and in the cyber world. This has led to the remodeling of offices and entire buildings, along with advanced use of technology to combat cybersecurity issues. With every aspect of our lives being online, security is a vital issue. In fact, according to the STANLEY Security’s 2022 Industry Trends Report, 78% of business owners say they rapidly adopted new technology due to the pandemic.
More companies are now using advanced entry techniques to ensure that only authorized employees have access to the building. This is important when the use of masks and other face coverings can inhibit recognition. With more people using online applications and technology, the need to protect themselves from hacking and other nefarious actions has become necessary.
Although many brick-and-mortar businesses suffered with the onset of COVID-19, online businesses and e-commerce flourished. Businesses like Amazon, Instacart, and Walmart increased their virtual presence in many homes. Unable to go in person to shop, people have turned to these companies for their everyday needs. The new-found convenience has had a long-lasting effect on the business world. While it has its good points, including opening more jobs, these powerhouses have put many local mom-and-pop shops out of business.
4. Digital Investment
Since the start of the pandemic, the use of technology like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Office has skyrocketed. Companies have reserved more money to invest in these programs as well as training for employees to use them in home offices and hybrid situations. Digital investment growth has helped create more jobs across the corporate spectrum.
It’s estimated that the pandemic has put the average student about 8 months behind in their education. The long-term effects of this issue will be seen by businesses for years to come. With students taking longer to catch up, businesses will have a harder time finding qualified applicants for certain positions. Luckily, local impact grants of up to $20,000 a piece are being offered to help in this area, as well as help with inclusion, equity, and climate resiliency.
Covid changed the world as we once knew it. While many of the changes were unfortunate and sad, many businesses have led the way, proving to us that we can adapt. Technology and thinking outside the box continue to help us solve Covid-related issues and move ahead.