The corona virus pandemic has taken the world by a storm. Economies of multiple countries have crashed, and a majority of the population has gone into an indefinite lock down. With so much uncertainty, industries and businesses are looking for solutions to keep themselves going. Many are trying and implementing new strategies to make the best out of the situation. As a result, there is a sudden surge in some projections that were previously deemed unfit or unpopular. Some of these post coronavirus predictions might even prove to lay the foundation for business operations and strategies in the future.
Key Factors that will Change the Way Businesses Function
While the pandemic does not seem to subside anytime soon, it has become inevitable for businesses to embrace changes that can help them fight these difficult times. These changes will most likely be permanent and last long even after the corona virus dies down. Here’s a look at some of the prominent ones.
1. Increase in Digital Conferencing
Social distancing has forced businesses to adapt to remote communication techniques. Adjusting to the new norm might have been a struggle, but as teams are becoming more acquainted with this technology, they are slowly realizing the benefits that they offer. Online conferences, for instance, give you the look and feel of a business meeting from within the comfort of your home. From educational lessons to daily meetings and friends wanting to keep in touch, video calling has made things easy. Proof of this lies in the Zoom’s user base that reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid for the month of March.
The global conferencing market is predicted to double by 2027, reaching over $11 billion resulting in an 8.4% compound annual growth rate. With the inclusion of VR and other technologies in the video conferencing space, it is set to improve drastically in the next few decades.
2. Robust Digital Framework
Retailers and brick-and-mortar companies witnessed their on-site stores crumble to the ground. US store visits have plummeted by 90% from mid-February to mid-March. Sometimes, black swan events like this occur, and it’s depressing. But, your business must move forward. Building an online presence has become of paramount importance in recent times. Now, more than ever, you have to set up the website that you’ve been putting off and start reaching out to your customers.
Even after the pandemic is over, an online business can help you broadcast to a much larger audience and cater to international clients. Once smaller firms get a taste of online marketing and digital technology, it will be hard to go back. Cloud services have seen a jump since after the pandemic and will likely continue to experience similar hikes even after the virus. Skytap Inc., a company dedicated to helping migrate IT infrastructure to cloud platforms, observed a 20% increase in their users.
Even during the corona virus outbreak, essential services like healthcare must go on. But due to social distancing, your doctor may not be readily accessible. This has initiated a surge in telemedicine. A spokesperson from Software Advice, a company dedicated to digital research solutions, said, “84% [people] are more likely to select a provider that offers telemedicine over one that doesn’t”. This shows that patients are keen to use healthcare technology to bridge the social distancing gap.
In the case of highly contagious diseases or factors that prevent a face-to-face meet up, administering healthcare is difficult. This is where telemedicine comes in. Telemedicine allows healthcare professionals to connect with their patients remotely. It involves the monitoring of a patient’s vitals, prescribing medication, or sharing information between practitioners in different physical locations. The coronavirus has only accelerated the growth of telemedicine, but it is useful, even post-pandemic.
4. eCommerce and Online Events
The corona virus has triggered a shift in shopping behavior. Those that preferred going out and physically purchasing items are no longer able to. So, people are adopting e-commerce. 21% of the respondents in a survey conducted admit that they are shopping online more frequently. Now, people have to resort to online shopping even for groceries and other essentials—almost a 250% increase in spending on grocery shopping in the US since the quarantine was issued. Older people are also adjusting to the newer buying habits. As people realize this much easier shopping alternative, many are converting permanently.
Along with a sharp fall in shopping, major events like the E3 gaming expo and the mobile world congress to be held in Barcelona have been canceled. This has people scrambling to host these onto online platforms. Webinars and digital marketing have soared in recent times. Google has transitioned into an online meet for its cloud technology conference changing its name to Google Cloud Next ’20: Digital Connect. Facebook’s Facebook F8 developer conference is completely digital. As more events are being shifted online, people are getting accustomed to it. This is set to become the new for at least the next few months if not more.
5. Remote Working
As more companies are implementing remote work policies, work-from-home has become a reality in the present-day scenario. While employers were initially reluctant to this idea, believing that it would result in a decrease in productivity, today, the same people second Forbes’ “remote work is no longer a privilege” thinking. A study by Airtasker on 1004 full-time workers- 505 of whom were remote workers- observed that remote working increased the performance of the staff. The study found that 25% of employees would quit their job due to long and exhaustive commutes. The time, stress, and physical exertion saved in traveling to and from work can add to their productivity.
Now that people are acquainted with how remote teams work, employees have adjusted to the flexible hours and comfortable workspace. A post coronavirus world may experience a more remote workforce than ever before. Global Workplace Analytics, reported that 37% of the staff would take a 10% pay cut to continue working from home.
Any change is a time-consuming and financially draining process. This makes large enterprises refrain from it. In light of the recent pandemic, a multitude of industries have been forced to adapt to a change. And many have tried to make the most of it. People have been pushed to take advantage of innovative methods to make do with the new realities. Now that businesses realize the advantages of many of these technologies, people are more likely to continue using them in their daily life. The world post the pandemic is like many say set to be a different one.
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