At the current moment, the world is not yet fully committed to the path of economic recovery. Lockdown measures are still in place in most countries, and sporadic outbreaks are also occurring. Despite this, meetings are happening. Government lifelines given to business are having the ending periods worked out. Many firms are looking closer at their operations with some of the larger ones not doing this for quite some time. Disruptions in cash flow have made even the giants pause and reconsider long term projects and goals. Even with the best of intentions to keep everything, many firms are being compelled to change, and others are using COVID as a good reason to commit to significant scale changes.
With the reduction in sales, many firms have had to fire employees or are relying on government programs. As those programs end others costs are rising. Terminations in employment are being used to stop some of the losses. Projects that were started before COVID and allowed to continue during it are also beginning to end. The construction industry is ground zero for this change and is being watched closely.
Firms are facing heartbreaking choices that are needed but are going to hurt the business recovery. With a decline in the amount of liquidity in the books, rehiring everyone once the crisis has gotten better is also not looking like it is a possibility. These forced changes are going to have to be adapted to, and we can hope that they will reduce the already growing number of business closures.
Changes In Response To COVID
The hospitality sector has been changed across the world by COVID and the lockdown restrictions. Take away options, and the connection to the internet had already been growing. Yet under COVID, entire parts of the sector have been forced to adapt. This has seen some businesses realise that they can perform in this new environment and restructure their business to suit it. This can be seen outside of the hospitality sector, as the way that business is conducted is changed. The adoption of the virtual meeting and programs such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom are examples.
These changes could remain after the COVID crisis. Some firms and people have found that they have enjoyed being able to work from home. Detailed studies on the productivity of individuals are pending, but it could change the nature of the workplace. Self directed work has also grown in firms that never would have moved towards this. If benefits can be seen despite the COVID crisis, then prominent firms may adopt some of the ways that work has been done during COVID.
Long Term Pivots
This is a recent change that is being seen. Big firms that have been doing business in a certain way are being forced to change. Disney has had to close parks and also theatres have not been buying. This has seen a heavy focus on Disney Plus and uploading content to it. Travel companies have also had to change what they can offer with some pivoting more into a media role talking about what could be possible in the future. In the online space, big changes are also occurring. With costs rising and the market getting less willing to accept risks companies are considering new projects to increase the funding
New ideas and ways for firms to function are going to come out of COVID. Perhaps some of the brands that we have all come to know may change when the recovery begins. While these changes may be hard to cope with they are better than losing the companies and jobs behind them. The easy days of firms just continuing on as they had are ending, and now company leadership is being forced to make serious choices. Some firms that may have been walking into collapse may be snapped out of it and change to avoid it.
Convenient Reasons to Change
Already rumours are being heard that COVID is being used to get rid of employees that were not well liked. For big business, this is seeing entire sections of the company that are viewed negatively. While before COVID these changes could have seen complaints and possible actions taken against firms, they now have a good reason. Hollywood is reporting that it is concerned that ideological purges are occurring. Projects that may have been allowed to tick along despite bad returns such as Marvel are now facing closure. If these changes using COVID are taken with the best of intentions for the firms, then we may see an increase in productivity and also resource allocation. If you are not pouring resources into something that is failing, then you can put them to something great.
After COVID strangely, some firms may find that they have a bunch of resources that are now free. New projects and ideas will be launched to take advantage of that. New needs and wants are also likely to come from COVID and with the freedom in restructure that has been given to them, and they will hopefully be able to meet it.
A lot of bad is happening across all sectors in business. Many firms have not been given a chance to change and are going to fail. We can hope that the firms still around will be able to make the needed changes and good will come of it. For recovery in the wider society, we are going to need them.