What Can Companies Expect in a Post-COVID World?
Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s going to take a long time to get over this, to get past it. To determine if we even can get past it.
In some ways, there’s more uncertainty now, as businesses start to reopen, than there was under stricter lockdowns. The Consumer Confidence Index had fallen almost 32 points by the end of April, when talk of reopening first picked up steam in many American states. Other indicators of consumer opinion had also dropped dramatically.
As individuals, as societies, as governments, and as businesses, we are shaken. Consumers in many places just saw themselves almost completely cut off from the market overnight. For many, there was a strange hiatus — a gap between losing local services, and those services being replaced by virtual or remote sources. In that gap, many people (and companies) saw real economic fallout.
Many people have lost work. For them, it’s not so much a matter of trust; it’s a matter of priorities. Why spend money they don’t have on things which aren’t actually vital to their survival?
In other words, at first people wanted to buy, but couldn’t. Now, people can start buying some things again, but many are hesitant or afraid. And there are others, many of whom have lost their jobs, who would want to start buying but are no longer as able to do so.
Combined with the inherent chaos around us, it’s no wonder that businesses, in turn, feel less confident in the future. It’s wise to ask the question “Can we survive in the post-COVID world, and how do we do it?” But there’s another question we might ask ourselves as well.
IS THERE A POST-COVID WORLD?
In many ways, talk of the post-COVID world is somewhat premature. At the very least, we know it’s going to take some time before the vast majority of the world is able to get past this crisis and we even know what the “new normal” is.
For companies determining what the “new normal” is in their facilities, it may be very subjective depending on region, city, size of workforce, and industry.
For example, given our work with manufacturing and distribution supply chains, nGROUP knows that some COVID-related workplace policies aren’t going anywhere for the time being. Hand washing, social distancing, and the use of masks all seem likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Even as more businesses open (assuming circumstances call for it), both customers and employees are going to face an adjustment period, to say the least.
On the other hand, there are some things that will change. The use of temperature checks will drop significantly, if not disappear altogether. Additionally, travel bans will be relaxed, and limited numbers of people will begin to travel more and more.
And, of course, there is the fate of the handshake. Will it remain part of culture? Will it become a relic of the past? At this point, who knows?
Really, that’s the answer to the question “Will there be a post-COVID world?” Right now, it’s hard to tell. If we do, it’s almost certainly not due to arrive in the near future.
LET’S NOT LOSE HEART
This has been a terrible time, beyond doubt. For some, it has been worse than that. But there is reason to be hopeful.
Through intelligent actions, devised by informed leaders and carried out by committed people, the spread of COVID-19 has been drastically slowed. While the death toll is still sobering, and still growing, we know it could have been so much worse.
But people, armed and supported with technology-derived processes, have been able to keep the worst at bay so far.
As we reopen, there’s no reason to think we can’t continue that trend.
In fact, some companies are not only keeping COVID at bay, they are also growing quite significantly.
nGROUP has seen that trend in action. We’ve been helping clients all over the United States start new operations, expand their workforces, and deliver vital supplies to the world, even at the height of the pandemic so far.
Bob Duron, nGROUP’s COO, has been in the warehouses, production lines, and distribution centers. “I’m so proud of our teams across the country. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have started up several new operations, staffed 600 new associates and we’re going strong. We are here to serve our clients and support them as partners through these difficult times.”
People, supported with technology, and guided with sure processes, are the answer to the question: “Will there be a post-COVID world?” With what nGROUP sees from our clients every day, we believe the answer is “Yes”.
BY: DAVID HAIR, CEO