We’re in the eighth month of this year and much of the country is still quarantined in one way or another. As of the writing of this post, the House and Senate are in debates over a second stimulus check. JC Penny’s has gone bankrupt, and Macy’s is on the edge of doing so as well. While the progress on the vaccine gives hope that soon life will become “normal” again, the question is, should that be our goal? Should we put money and effort into a return to normalcy when things have been changed for so long? The first thing to look into is the current state of businesses during the pandemic and work from there.
Restaurants and Retail
Restaurants have been one of the hardest hit in this crisis. As colleges begin to open for the fall, we’re seeing a microcosm of the ways restaurants as an industry has had to adapt. The focus on prepacked food and take out orders. A lack of space that has caused reopening dine-in services to be unrealistic for so many. There are restaurants that still haven’t reopened at all. For those that have, some states allow restaurants to sell to-go alcoholic beverages. To-go orders in general have become the main source of income for most open restaurants.
Many of the struggles that restaurants have had are shared with retail. A lack of space and the difficulties surrounding not being able to interact with customers as much face-to-face. Ecommerce has become vital for many stores. Especially for smaller businesses. Fortune theorizes that online shopping will continue to be high after everything reopens. The need for websites and mobile apps will continue to rise because of this trend to switch to online shopping.
Remote working has been fortunate for businesses that normally work from an office space. Several industries already had some form of remote option beforehand, and those that didn’t have quickly adopted them. However, there are companies voicing plans to have employees return to the office as soon as possible. Some claim they’re aiming for that to happen as soon as late fall/early winter. A few have already implemented this return to form. There are experts who advise against this. They argue that rather than trying to bring things back to how they once were, companies ought to adapt to what people are theorizing will be the new “normal”. Mainly because the trajectory for workplaces was already heading in the direction of remote work before the pandemic. Another reason is that remote working has been something disabled employees have wanted for a long time. The pandemic has proven that working from home is a possibility in ways we didn’t think it could be. To allow disabled workers that option, employers would be setting them up to be more successful and productive than otherwise.
In order to guess at the future, we need to look at the past. Since the pandemic has caused the economy to struggle badly, McKinsey suggests that businesses should copy what was successful in the recovery after 2008. A second suggestion is to focus on wage-gap equality. Gender equality in wages would add $4 trillion to our economy. Racial equality between black and white employees specifically would add $1.5 trillion more. This makes sense as the more people make the more they will spend. We’ll need all that can be put back into the economy in order to minimalize the long-lasting effects of the pandemic.
A good number of experts suggest that a return to the pre-COVID work-life is unlikely. There’s a push to continue to embrace a more remote style of workplaces for those who can. Continued vigilance in public health safety for those who can’t, which will require a more technological approach with online shopping and even how appointments will be scheduled. Businesses will have to adapt. A change that would’ve come slowly had been accelerated by this global pandemic.
With more businesses requiring a virtual presence, the competition of who has the best website, or who’s app do customers prefer, has become vital to the longevity of most industries. ScannedMedia’s job is to help you rise to the top. We want you to stand out in ways that make your customers excited to do business with you. There’s a range of ways we can do this, whether it’s branding, building a website, or creating an app that suits your needs. Let us know how we can help your business move forward stronger than ever!