The Covid-19 crisis isn't over, yet!
Sooner or later, it will, but the meaning of "After Covid-19" is different for different people.
For employees, it may merely mean coming out of the lock-down. For small businesses, it may mean that they can break-even, while for the corporations, it might be when the stock price is back to where it was in Jan'20.
Indeed, the virus has caught everyone with pants down, and I don't think any sane company or individual will forget the lesson.
The virus has caught everyone with pants down; any sane company or individual must not forget the lesson.
However, don't be mistaken to believe this is an unprecedented change. This change was due in the next three to five years, though. The virus merely accelerated it. Had none of this would have happened, this was going to be the future anyway.
Now that it's here, a better response to the situation is to adapt.
Changing the way we work
After Covid-19, you will see a more flexible working environment and culture. Many companies will scramble to test their defenses, while others may choose to ignore the lesson.
It will be a better opportunity to lead with a "work-from-home unless necessary" style of operation going forward. While a complete work-from-home option is detrimental to the societal aspects of human life, always work-from-office is also not sustainable. Businesses will have to find a middle ground that works well for everyone, and yet it is sustainable, that will be the key.
About six months ago, when Microsoft trialed a four-day work-week in Japan, it found nearly a 40% increase in productivity. I reckon it is a golden opportunity for all the companies to test it out during these times.
It is going to be a long way before the economy picks up as we will see trade war regaining its foothold. It is going to be much harder to wade through it this time, mostly on account of apparent backlash within multiple countries.
But, on a brighter side, I believe it will open several opportunities for local businesses. Expect significant stimulus from the government on this. If you've got an entrepreneurial bent, it will be your time to shine. So, start doing your homework now.
However, all of us need to understand one crucial thing - consumerism is not sustainable! Therefore, we all need to work toward finding lasting solutions and business ideas that would add value without having side-effects on sustainability. It is time for innovation!
Employees, professionals, and all of us
Most people would have learned by now - the cost of the lifestyle is always higher than the cost of living. Accordingly, expect somewhat short-hand at discretionary spending for some time, which will beget more offers and discounts to attract customers. Nonetheless, you will see that better sense will prevail, and people will be more cautious this time. I sincerely hope that short-hand at discretionary spending becomes a permanent change.
Moreover, many employees and professionals would have learned by now that narrow skillset is not helpful in the fast-changing world. You must be able to adapt, not just mentally but skillfully. It means one must take a hard look at existing skills, then work toward upgrading and widening them.
It is time to focus on not just building a career but expertise, a portfolio if you will. People often insist that inch wide and mile deep is the best way to develop your skillset. That is, have highly focused expertise and go deeper. It is a thing of a past now.
The world has seen enough number of polymaths that are revered, and this downtime is perhaps the best time to work on building expertise, consolidating, and repackaging them.
Of course, this, too, shall pass. And, we all need to make sure that our response is coming from our better selves.
A few years from now, what do we want to tell our children, colleagues, friends, and families? Do we want to regret it as we look back, or do we want to take pride in our actions?
"Failure is not a mere failure. It is instructive." - John Dewy
What are you learning from this crisis?