As we know it, the world has changed dramatically in less than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic started in December 2019. Our daily routines have changed from traveling to work to waking up five minutes prior to an online meeting. These changes have allowed us to continue working despite the lockdowns and the economic recessions that have since ensued. And because of it, many companies were still able to stay afloat and operate in a pandemic-torn society.
As 2021 saw the increase in vaccinations and the decrease in Covid-19 cases, many people became more optimistic that we would soon transition back to our pre-pandemic lives, only for that optimism to turn to disappointment as the new variants of the Covid-19 like the Delta and Lambda started spreading faster around the world. These new variants have prompted us to just accept that returning to normalcy won’t be happening any time soon as some countries are back in stricter lockdowns, many small businesses had to close, and millions of unemployed people continue to suffer.
Even some big companies are considering a business succession planning advisory service to pass on the leadership or ownership of their companies since they can no longer deal with the setbacks of the new normal.
Based on how events unfold, our livelihoods will continue to change and adapt to the next new normal — whatever that will be. As grim as it sounds, we just have to adapt just like how most people and businesses have done ever since the pandemic began.
Business as Usual in the New Normal
Companies across the globe have digitally transformed most of their businesses and adapted into the new normal to continue operations during the lockdowns. Online interactions became the zeitgeist of recent times. But how else has the business world adopted during these past months? Here are some notable changes:
The healthcare industry is evolving.
Of course, in the time of a global health crisis, it’s the healthcare industry that is at the forefront of the fight to end the pandemic. But, outside of the pandemic context, healthcare professionals have also transformed how they provide their services through digital healthcare. Before the pandemic, only 11% of customers in the U.S. used digital healthcare, but it has now increased to 46%.
The financial sector is thriving.
Since insurance is becoming essential during recent events, more companies have launched insurance plans that cater to the ongoing crisis. Banks continue to operate as their customers’ transactions are still being made and processed by their employees, although online users have also increased.
The education sector is teaching digitally.
Besides employees working from home, students also adapted to the new normal by studying online. Even if some schools decided to open, but with measures to avoid the spread of the virus, more students are still opting to have their classes online.
The hospitality industry is finding ways to keep business going.
Since most restaurants cannot hold indoor dining, they eventually transitioned to only alfresco dining and take-outs. Most food chains also optimized food deliveries. For the travel and tourism industry, it’s not any different since lesser people are traveling. It looks like the only means to keep this industry operating is to develop a new economic model that will be suitable for this crisis.
The delivery industry is growing.
As staying at home and social distancing become a regular part of our daily lives, delivery services are becoming more ubiquitous, and the number of delivery apps has since doubled.
The entertainment industry is declining.
Even before the pandemic started, the film industry experienced a slight decrease in revenues because of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. And the crisis has caused the industry to suffer more significant losses by delaying film productions and releases because cinemas are closed due to lockdowns. It will likely be a long time before we can go back to watching movies on the big screen.
Online shopping is becoming more mainstream.
Online shopping is considered the safest way of purchasing items with lesser risks of contracting or spreading the virus. It has become a massive trend that by the end of 2020 that online sales made $791.70 billion in the U.S. During the first quarter of 2021, online shopping has increased by 39%.
It’s uncertain how long the pandemic will continue and when it can be declared officially over. Even scientists and epidemiologists can only switch from predicting to forecasting how the pandemic will continue to impact our lives. And most companies have already accepted that this new normal is our new reality, and it’s here to stay.