COVID19 is not just a mere health crisis of immense proportion – it has also effectively reshaped and restructured the social and economic fabric of the world. On top of the crippling health system, the possibility of deglobalisation and the looming fragile economy prospects have caused many businesses to reconsider their current business models. Hopefully once a vaccine has been found, we can jump back to when things have returned to normal.
However, this ‘normal’ state is no longer one that we’ve been accustomed to. We’re not only uncertain how long this crisis will go for, but we’re also not sure how the other side will turn out. Regardless of how the future may look, it is imperative that we focus on the present and urgently resolve the crisis and the economic problem before we can reimagine a future that diverges from our current one.
Resolving The Virus
As mentioned, nothing will change should the current situation does not improve. Most countries, if not all, are putting their crisis-response efforts in full gear. Governments are supporting their respective healthcare systems by alleviating shortages of medical supplies and medics. Governments, much like the one in Singapore, are giving out financial assistance to citizens and businesses so that they can survive through the crisis. In Singapore, business office rental expenses are also waived. Non-essential businesses are required to cease all physical operations and move it to the online spaces, if they are able. Those that need to stay open will have to implement various safety precautions such as safe distancing measures and hand sanitisers made accessible. Similarly, education institutions have shifted online as well.
However, we are at a juncture where stymying choices need to be made: isolation or not. Isolation is necessary to curb the spread of the virus but it’s proving to be detrimental to the economy. Thus, there is a need to determine the rate and extent of action at the business and overall state levels.
The Resilience To Pull Through
As mentioned before, we are at a predicament where the decision to pullback economy activity is jeopardising the economic well-being of businesses, institutions and citizens. By no means is it a valid reason to put people’s health at risk in hopes to push the economy back up, but its trajectory is a cause for concern. A health concern is quickly morphing into a financial crisis with a sharp drop in GDP and employment.
In order to pull through this rough situation, you’ll need to have enough resilience to persevere. It’s paramount that as business owners, you do whatever you can to salvage current issues such as cash management. However, you’ll have to also create substantial plans as the impact begins to create ripples within the various industries. At this stage, decisions that are both economic and socially responsible are critical to ensure sustainability in all aspects – private, public and social.
As eager as we might be to return to our normal business operations, carrying out the plans that lead to a reopened economy is not as easy as we’d like it to be. Industries will need to reactive their supply chains, notwithstanding the need to find new ones should their current ones be heavily affected by the disruption caused by the coronavirus. You will need to reassess your entire business system and set up plans for action to prepare for a reopened economy.
The need for a new business model isn’t the only thing you’d have to worry about. In the bigger scope of things, the threat of resurgence is also very plausible. Countries that have opened up their economies, such as China and South Korea, are undergoing their second wave. It’s even more alarming as there has yet to be a vaccine for the virus. Thus, whilst the return of economic activity is seen as a good sign, it’s important to always be vigilant. This means still opting for online operations and working remotely, as opposed to working in an office space for rent. Otherwise, social distancing and good personal and respiratory hygiene should still be practised.
The Need For Revamp
COVID19 has created a discontinuous shift in expectations and reality in every sector imaginable – it has already affected our perceptions on the way we should live, work and use technology. In fact, the Singapore government is playing around with the idea of a 4 day work week and increasing the frequency of working from home.
Businesses will also need to reinvent their business models to better adapt to the evolution of consumer behaviour, lest they lag behind. On top of that, businesses may want to shift their supply chain model and move their production and sourcing closer, now that deglobalisation is a possibility. The importance of technology needs to be highlighted and expounded. Businesses will need to make decisions that boost efficiency whilst still incurring the least amount of cost.
Since we’ve reached Phase 2 of the circuit breaker, we’re currently at the stage where we are reopening the economy. Thus, we need to be extra vigilant so that we can head to reforming and revamping. We’re not exactly sure how the crisis will unfold from here on out but don’t lose hope just yet.
At Greenhub Singapore, we have officially launched virtual office services to help you maintain your business operations should you wish to let go of your office space for lease. With services such as a distinguished business address and access to meeting rooms, your business can still continue its operations without incurring additional costs. Enjoy convenience and productivity at your very fingertips.