THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE COVID-19
Dr Suhaib Ashraf Bhat.
The consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak are unprecedented and felt around the world. The world of work is being profoundly affected by the pandemic. In addition to the threat to public health, the economic and social disruption threatens the long-term livelihoods and wellbeing of millions. The pandemic is heavily affecting labour markets, economies and enterprises, including global supply chains, leading to widespread business disruptions. Unfortunately, the startups and small businesses impacted brutally, as they have scarcer funds to manage crises. However, some say that great companies often come out during market downturns. Many innovative entrepreneurs have stepped up to help with some old or new techniques and products. With the sudden change in the market due to COVID-19, the businesses needed to change their perspective on entrepreneurship. While some businesses have come to a standstill, there are a few opportunities that have knocked our doors. Investors are showing interest in funding potential COVID-19 solutions and also in industries that could thrive in the post-pandemic world.
To determine in which category your business falls, carry a market-opportunity analysis using data from earlier years. Was the problem existed back then, and at what scale? Also, what changes emerged in that with Covid-19. The balance between funding and investment:If you have received the required funding or even parts of it, make sure you use the monetary resources consciously. The key to build and sustain your business is to deeply analyze the fixed and variable cost elements for better financial management.
Focusing on qualitative growth :Many startups measure their growth in terms of numbers, but we are in a time where the focus is on sustainability and fundamental economics. Now, businesses do need to pay heed to where the next financial support will come.
If you believe in some idea and were looking forward to it, now is the time to work on it. Focus on the quality as it will convert into better unit economics. So, when people start recognizing and using your product, you can win their hearts and loyalty in post-COVID.
Preparing for the post-COVID market:Amidst this critical period, the next few months bring the major challenge as a new delta variant is spreading like a wildfire, for the businesses is cost rationalization and fund-raise. Currently, people are focusing more on saving and fulfilling their necessities at least in the short term. But, after the situation stabilizes, the aspiration to spend more on travelling, upgrading phones, etc. will be at the forefront. Moreover, using this time to build your digital presence will be a smart move to lead your business towards growth. Many startups might not stand the test of this critical time, but pandemic has given rise to more entrepreneurial activity. So, you need to be extra cautious at every step you take from idea to execution. Furthermore, the major dilemma here is how this will impact us in the future and what can we do to ensure that we are moving in the right direction. Will this critical time enhance the entrepreneurial and diversify our economies? Or will it further shake-up the global system? We can just wait and work on calculated assumptions.A survey conducted by Shipping and Freight Resource, a shipping and freight news and content outlet, asked 300 professionals around the world about the impact of COVID-19 on their supply chains. According to survey results, nearly 59% of respondents said their operations were “significantly affected” by the coronavirus. Some of the factors impacting supply chains, as noted by Shipping and Freight Resource’s survey, include: decline in volume (71%), delays in transit (61%), port to customer delays (49%) and insufficient capacity (39%).
When asked about their supply chain adaptability, 37% of respondents identified with “Partial supply chain shut down with significant freight delays.” Only about 14% of respondents identified with “Supply chain has been able to adapt with no problem.”
Remote Work: According to Gallup, a management consulting and analytics company, 43% of American workers worked off-site at least sometimes in 2016. Based on April data, Gallup reports that 62% of American workers worked from home due to coronavirus concerns.
Many companies offered remote working options before COVID-19, but others didn’t. How has COVID-19 impacted remote working? How have businesses adapted to a remote working environment? How might work-from-home life affect individuals’ well-being?
COVID-19’S IMPACT ON REMOTE WORK:
Buffer, a social media management software provider, produced a “State of Remote Work 2019” report after surveying 2,500 remote workers. It found that, when working remotely, 84% of employees mainly work from their homes. However, some also worked from coffee shops and cafes (4%), coworking spaces (8%) and libraries (0.5%). Stay-at-home orders and safety precautions have changed where individuals are able to telework.
The coronavirus has also changed how individuals telework. Digital workplace tools, like Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams have become the new office hallways and meeting rooms. Use of these digital platforms has grown exponentially. For example, Zoom reports that in December 2019, the maximum number of daily participants was roughly 10 million. In April 2020, Zoom announced it had more than 300 million daily participants.
The impact of COVID-19 has also extended to team management. For many business leaders, COVID-19 has prompted their first remote management experience. An analysis from Gartner, a global research company, found that 16% of employers are more frequently using technology to monitor their employees. Adopting new management practices to check in on employees, maintain communication, and foster employee engagement are all challenges leaders have faced.
THE FUTURE OF REMOTE WORK:
Remote work used to be considered a nice-to-have office perk, but social distancing has made it the norm. It’s possible that the remote working will continue long after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. To adjust to this change, businesses will need individuals with agile leadership and management skills.
The future of remote work may also require that companies find creative ways to prioritize employees’ mental health. In its 2019 remote work report, Buffer notes that remote workers have a difficult time stepping away from their work. When asked about the most difficult part about working remotely, 22% of Buffer’s respondents chose “unplugging after work.” Additionally, 19% said they struggle with loneliness.
The ultimate tragedy I witnessed since the outbreak of covid-19 is, I saw the cream of people literally in begging mode, but due to the status they hold they are not able to speak out. I am of the strong opinion that it’s always middle class who suffers a lot. Neither they can go out and beg nor will anyone knock their door. In these days I met few people and I really felt that problem is with us. We should speak out to our friends, neighbours or anyone whom we know. Trust me there are many who need our support. Yes there are many. Please note, being kind to people in word and deed, and all kinds of doing good. This is one of the means of removing worry, distress and anxiety. By this means Allah swt wards off worries and distress from the righteous and immoral alike, but the believer has the greater share of this, and is distinguished by the fact that his kindness to others stems from sincerity and the hope of reward, so Allah swt makes it easy for him to be kind to others because of the hope that this will bring good things and ward off bad things, by means of his sincerity and hope of reward. Allah swt says (interpretation of the meaning):“There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders Sadaqah (charity in Allah’s Cause), or Ma‘roof (Islamic Monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained), or conciliation between mankind; and he who does this, seeking the good Pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward.” [al-Nisa 4:114].
“O you who believe! Spend of that with which We have provided for you, before a Day comes when there will be no bargaining, nor friendship, nor intercession. And it is the disbelievers who are the Zaalimoon (wrongdoers)” [al-Baqarah 2:254
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah swt be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah swt be upon him) said: “There is no day on which the people get up but two angels come down and one of them says, ‘O Allah, give in compensation to the one who spends (in charity),’ and the other says, ‘O Allah, destroy the one who withholds.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1374; Muslim, 1010.
The writer can be reached at Suhaibbhatt85@gmail.com.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE COVID-19