There is no doubt that 2020 has been the worst year in recent history for all of us. The amid covid-19 pandemic tore across the planet at alarming speed and changed our lives in many ways, perhaps for good. Staff involved in desk-based jobs were suddenly banished from the workplace, factories were forced to close whereas movement was limited to halt the spread of the virus. The worlds of commerce and industry had to resort to drastic measures to keep businesses alive.
In the article that follows, we will be looking at how the pandemic affected all of our working habits, how businesses reacted and dealt with the problem, and why 2020 might have had an influence on working practices for the future. Let's begin by looking at how industry and commerce have been affected directly.
How the Pandemic Affected Industry and Commerce
The initial response from the commercial world was one of a few confusions: here was a new strain of coronavirus that was statistically very dangerous, and this one was spreading a lot faster than the ones human beings had seen before. Apparently, it was going to have an impact on the daily lives of individuals in most countries. As governments throughout Europe and America began enforcing restrictions on personal movement, it was also clear that, for many, the daily commute to and from work to sit alongside colleagues in the office, factory or retail outlet was no longer viable or possible.
The way businesses responded, however, was innovative and interesting in many ways. Plenty of businesses were already using video conferencing apps and software before the pandemic as part of their daily routine. It would be these that had a head start on those who did not.
To overcome the problem of teams or scheduled online meetings now having to work remotely businesses also turned to shared online calendar and appointment scheduling systems visit here whereby you'll get a good idea of how they work and why they became vital. In many ways we have the digital revolution to thank for getting clients or leads by booking software for small business during this crisis, although, of course many did not survive. Small business scheduling can help not to lose all current and new future clients.
With factories stopping their usual manufacturing many turned to using their design and production computer technology for helping the cause. The motor industry in particular rose to the occasion in favor of producing ventilators and PPE equipment essential to the beleaguered health industry. Reminiscent of a wartime spirit, this approach gave hope to millions who suddenly found themselves out of work and with no clear view forward.
How Commerce Rose to the Challenge
If you look at current covid-19 world statistics, the numbers are quite startling, and act as a reminder of what the world has experienced in the past 18 months or so. One of the positives to come from all of this is that we have learned a lot - in commercial terms - about how to react to an unexpected crisis. Many employees having an internet connection and basic computer system at home already was a starting point. Businesses that needed their teams to work remotely provided extra equipment where needed and helped employees set up temporary home offices.
In the first instance many of these makeshift working spaces were far from ideal, but as it became clear things would remain this way for a long time people became innovative and began to create dedicated office space where there was none. Video conferencing became the norm, remote monitoring of team's performance via work time apps helped keep the productivity up, and it did not take long for people to become used to this arrangement.
Of course, many jobs require the use of specialist equipment and machinery that could not be home-based. In many cases these employees were required to go to work - at least on a limited basis - with factories, engineering plants and workshops being rearranged and amended to enable social distancing in the workplace. Again not ideal, but necessary to keep the production process going. Apart from the need for PPE, the health industry continued with its daily routine, albeit catering for covid patients as opposed to booked appointments.
The entire situation was an eye-opener, and not always in a bad way. To finish we take a look at how covid-19 may have changed the way some people work permanently.
What Happens Next?
Once companies had teams working efficiently from home - especially smaller and growing businesses - they began to see actual benefits to this way of working. Consider a small business that occupies offices in a town, or on a business park. That building comes with rates and rent attached, with heat and light, with other energy usage and with maintenance. Yet with the team working from home things are going along almost as well as when working from the office.
What, then, is the company paying for? The truth is that for many small to medium businesses the future of remote working is going to be part of their general daily operation if they want to keep costs down. Many are choosing to adopt a no-headquarters stance and have their team work from home, and book a meeting room for once a fortnight to get together or for necessary meetings with clients.
Even major corporations are moving towards this working model to save money. For the employee, there's no more morning, evening commute and more time for them. After all, this won't apply to every business, but for many the offshoot of the covid-19 pandemic is a more efficient and cost-effective way of working that they might have never tried before.