Amidst the panic of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re seeing businesses across the world reel as they try to enact measures to survive the ongoing storm and see it through to the other side – the issue many are facing however, is without any end in sight, how do they prepare? There was initial hope when officials would offhandedly mention that this would all be over by Easter Sunday, but when expert analysis would suggest this could continue until summer at the very least, suddenly the outlook would begin to show very differently.
A lot of effort has been put toward helping those who are most at risk – both individuals and businesses – coming in the form of tax cuts, lower interest rates, and grants. Despite that, it seems many will not see the other side of this – smaller businesses without any comfortable cushion are already finding themselves at risk or closing. Those in the hospitality business such as hotels and restaurants are now also hat in hand asking for as much help as possible as many feel they cannot survive even a short extended period without business – with further uncertainty that even when this has all passed, that paying customers may be extremely limited for some time while they themselves are trying to get their feet back underneath them. Adopting new technology and practices may perhaps help stabilize the hospitality business, such as reservation software for hotels or apps to place an order with the restaurant, etc. Providing the customer easy access to avail services can relatively improve the condition of businesses.
Whilst there are many who are struggling, it has also provided an opportunity for many others to evolve their businesses practices, to usher in a change that might remain for a long time to come. We continue to find many in the online sphere that have managed to be relatively unscathed by this – online streaming platforms have remained successful as an increased audience has led to growth. Where brick and mortar are hit with heavy losses, online betting and casino services have been immune, and with increasing numbers registering outside of the UK, these online casinos are not blocked by Gamstop – this continues to follow the trend as the mobile gaming industry is outpacing its counterparts. The regular office worker may find a huge shift following this too – remote working has been analysed and discussed for the better part of a decade with no real effort to push on a wide scale, but as many are forced to work from home, we now see a dry run of that in which many may adopt to keep afterwards.
It serves as a stark reminder for how reliant on technology we have become – as we see those who rely on operating from specific physical locations struggle as closures extend, whereas those with the flexibility on how and where work can be done from are able to continue in relative safety. We will see many changes following this epidemic as strategies are developed and put into place to prevent huge losses during times where normal operation is hindered – but amongst all the negative, the silver lining is that it has also provided an opportunity for many businesses to evolve their practices and adopt something new – whether these will be long term mainstays is yet to be seen, but it is almost a certainty many will find a benefit from the shift.