The lockdown, which was imposed as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, and the subsequent gradual easing has been devastating to many companies, particularly those in the traditional retail, travel and leisure sectors. But it has been truly uplifting to see how many businesses adapted to the situation so quickly in order to secure their survival. My local pub started a delivery service at the start of the lockdown, which continues to be well supported. One of the clients we work with turned to manufacturing face masks when orders of their main product lines dried up and another business I know has been manufacturing hand sanitiser in order to keep the cash coming in. And ecommerce has surged, as explained in this enlightening blog from Fresh Relevance: Covid 19s impact on ecommerce returning to normal-life
Nobody, it seems, is planning to go back to business as it was before. The lockdown has provided a wake-up call for us all to consider how and where we do business. A friend of mine tells me he isn’t going to commute to London on a daily basis, he thinks maybe once or twice a fortnight will be enough. I know of several companies who have already given notice on their offices and others who are planning to downsize, as are we. Those who have still got IT systems on office-based servers are looking to move them into the cloud so they can operate from anywhere and are seeking to ensure their staff are properly equipped to work from home on a long-term basis.
There are some commentators who still believe that office-based businesses will gradually return to the way they were before the pandemic. But there are many business owners who are absolutely determined that they will not.