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Understand the Covid Impact

Effects of Covid Pandemic on Workforce, Business Channels & Consumer Preferences 

Author: Sehar Zehra

About the Pandemic

After the big pandemic wave hit the world in the end 2019, the entire human race was in panic. On one side the hospitals started filling up with hundreds of patients per day, till the situation ended in no empty beds in most of the hospitals. Similarly, on the other hand researchers and scientists were in panic because it was a time consuming process to make vaccines in such a large amount which would cater the mass. Eventually, the countries all over the world started restricting people to roam around freely. There were travel restrictions and all the restaurants and parks and other entertainments were also closed. There was horror, shock and everybody was frightened to step out their houses.

Sudden closures and shifts due to health cautions

Initially, for few months offices, schools, malls, parks etc. were closed. But as the shock started lifting up, everything shifted to online. The office going staff had to work online, the schools were also shifted online and many franchises started delivering their products online. They strengthen up their delivering and shipping area and were solely dependent on it. Moreover, with moving the workforce and businesses online there were pros and cons attached to it. Many of the enterprises faced issues with drastic losses due to supply chain disruptions, transportation disruptions, shortage of raw material, demand issues etc.
However, the businesses have also taken a drastic step towards digitalization. According to a survey, named as McKinsey Global Survey of executives, many companies have shifted speedily towards digital business. They have focused upon digitalization of their customers as well as supply-chain operations and speed up the other internal processes. While conducting the survey, the respondents mentioned that funding on digital initiatives has been increased more than anything else but to stay in completion they had to stay focused on implementing new strategies and practices.

New normal is the changed preferences skewed towards online

Moreover, during the pandemic the consumers also move intensely towards the online channels and companies’ positive response has also built up their trust in purchasing online in their future. Initially, consumers were more fearful about the economic crises they had to face due to the pandemic. Mostly, the consumers were panic buying and storing up their necessities and staples. The outbreak pushed the consumers out of their routines and forced them to move towards online buying. People also tend to shop more cautiously and preferred local brand.
This whole pandemic also forced the businesses to take their workforce online and shift towards beginning of a new era. People started working online as businesses started preferring remote work. Many employees think that they have proper tools and environment for remote work but some of them miss their social network.  Most of the workforce has the opinion that they feel more productive while working online and are more comfortable than they were in the office. There has been a drastic change in pre to post outbreak working preferences. According to a survey, 46% of people who used to work in offices now plan to work online more often in the future.

Change in work-from-home frequency from pre- to post-outbreak

All in all, there are many benefits that can be seen after the world wide acceptance of online businesses and online work. The consumers are now at ease as the trust issues they had before are sorted and now they are always ready to make purchases online. The workforces are also at ease as they can spend their time with family as well as they can run their other errands at the same time while working from home. Moreover, businesses are also satisfied as they have grown drastically after applying new techniques and strategies in their businesses and solely depend upon digitalization.
About the author

Sehar Zehra, Research Analyst

Qualified as MBA Human Resource, worked for few months as an internee in UBL funds manager and Jubilee Life Insurance. Also conducted initial research work at university level. Her interests are painting, sketching and reading.

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