More than two billion people worldwide are now under full or partial lockdown as governments and healthcare providers try to limit the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of those are working from home, using technology for remote communication and collaboration. Even so, the economy is being hit, with GDP forecast to shrink in most parts of the world and fears growing that lockdowns might continue for up to 18 months.
For some, however, work has to continue because they provide essential services. Those in the emergency services, healthcare or even in supermarkets, still have to go out to do their jobs. That has led to a hiring increase in some sectors, just as others, such as hotels, restaurants, and pubs, are laying-off staff as the pandemic forces them to close.
History shows that social changes made during a time of crisis often become permanent. In a similar fashion and with already having had a grave impact on our societies and economies, the coronavirus pandemic is likely to bring permanent upgrades to how we work. Here’s how that might play out.
Putting people first
#1. Being part of the solution: Many businesses are having to change their roles as the pandemic unfolds, for example by shifting production. Cosmetics firms such as Christian Dior and Givenchy are producing hand sanitizer, while Ford, Airbus, and others are using factory space to build essential equipment, such as ventilators. In the education sector, many businesses are making their resources accessible to support schools and universities that have been forced to close.