Four forces that will mold the new normal

Recently, McKinsey and Company released an action plan to emerge more vital in the new normal. The past six months have been extremely difficult for the entire world in a surge of normalcy. As we realize it’s time we move forward, there are several things to keep in mind, safety being the top priority.

Let us have a look at the four forces that could shape the next era in business:

The metamorphosis of demand

The widespread pandemic has bought in many significant changes, one being; the need for goods online, which has increased to 20 – 25% on average. And first-time digital consumers account for almost 40 percent of the growth in digital goods and services. As the need to stay behind closed doors has increased, some 15 to 20 percent of US shoppers have switched websites since COVID-19 started. The risk of coming in contact with the virus has led to masses cutting down on the consumption of outside items and have preferred to have primary connections with family only. For instance, China’s economic recovery has been one of the world’s fastest—yet its consumption is still more than 20 percent lower than before the outbreak.

Rapid changes in the workforce

A new McKinsey Global Institute study finds that up to one-third of US jobs may be vulnerable to furloughs, pay cuts, and layoffs. Low-income workers hold 80 percent of those jobs. The single biggest challenge facing employers may be deciding how and when to add workers to the payroll. Strangely, some industries are suffering from the opposite. With workers tested positive, prone to infections, coming from containment zones, some companies are shortages to carry out their tasks. Amongst this, employers are finding it challenging to find employees with new required skills such as digital sales skills in B2B field sales forces, productivity-based management techniques at a time when productivity is tougher to measure, and many others. It has also led to the division of two teams, where some work from a home setup office environment and find it difficult to balance between the two, and some are happy to be able to work at ease and not suffer the long commutes.

Shifts in regulations

Regulators and governments worldwide are using varied philosophies of public health; for example, Sweden is focusing on achieving herd immunity. All the countries are not as developed in terms of their medical facilities, and every country is following different ways to tackle the virus. For example, some US states were completely shut down; some were following minimum gathering, while some were utterly open to moving around. A wide range of societal beliefs, economic realities, and political challenges underlie these choices. Multinational companies that are geographically expanded find it difficult to maintain consistency in terms of goods and services provided. They know that they need to establish some level of productivity to preserve the future of their companies.

Increasing information about protocols for safety

Medical and scientific efforts focused on COVID-19 has already produced important insights that directly affect how companies respond. Studies on asymptomatic patients, the prevalence of Aerosolization that expands the virus are ongoing. A recent case involved an unwitting COVID-19 carrier in a restaurant who sneezed into an air-conditioning duct and spread it to everyone. Hopes for a rapid fall in COVID-19 cases as summer approaches in the Northern Hemisphere have subsided: in Asia, the resurgent virus is once again taking hold, despite the onset of summer, and its transmission is increasing in warmer climates around the world. More economic activity and reduced physical distancing have also driven a resurgence of the virus. These developments have important lessons for companies: any regime of interventions they set up cannot ignore presymptomatic and asymptomatic patients. There should be a real focus on facilities and how they are configured.

In conclusion

Various efforts have been made to better the testing facilities, which will affect human contact at workplaces. Every move will have to be evaluated immediately and refined as necessary as it is the hour of need.

McKinsey & Co.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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