Amid all the chaos and misery of the Coronavirus outbreak, not just in the UK but across half the planet, there have been a couple of positive points that have struck me.
Firstly, the sheer speed that so many companies have been able to adapt and continue operating with a remote workforce.
Secondly, the tenacity of those workers to, for want of a better phrase “keep calm and carry on.”
I’m going to use Alchemis as an example of these points, but I know first hand from the many suppliers, clients and other companies I am still talking to every day that we are in no way unique here.
A few weeks ago, before the gravity of the situation had dawned on most of us, staff were coming into the office whilst keeping half an eye on events that were (for the most part) happening “somewhere else.”
But within a matter of days, home-working looked like the only sensible option. Every single staff member was able carry on with their job as normal without the perils of a commute. The benefits of a cloud hosted database, Office 365, etc were never more obvious.
Had this virus struck, say 10 or 15 years ago I would imagine that many businesses would not have been in any sort of position to react and deal with the very sudden need for home working. And difficult though it is to imagine, the economic impact may have been even worse.
From our own point of view, we are still able to contact senior marketing decision makers and generate opportunities for our clients to win new business. Maybe the medium has changed for now (for example, agencies will be meeting brands through video conferencing rather than face to face) but the essential groundwork is being laid. Those who realise this will be the ones winning new accounts sooner, as we eventually come out the other side of this awful situation.
In the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan came out with the statement that the world had become a global village. Well in the 2020s we’re virtually a global household. The reason for this is that human beings are social creatures. Their very existence and continued progression is built around social interaction with each other. Despite all the pandemics throughout history, the human race has adapted and continued to live as a society.
It is clear that the scale of economic damage to businesses not just in the UK, but globally is unprecedented. However, as has happened countless times before, from these challenges plenty of entrepreneurs will find many opportunities for new ideas, new markets and ultimately strong recovery.
Keep well people!