Everyone believes that nothing will ever be the same after the coronavirus. But I suggest that we should not be so hasty in making definite decisions since only the wise people will see the change while the others will resist it.
Before I tackle the reason why, let us take a look at the current situation:
Industrial production data, capacity utilization rates, results of the expectations surveys, and other sensitive parameters which we use to measure economy will soon reveal negative figures. I don’t think it would be right to make long-term economic forecasts based solely on these numbers because we are going through an unprecedented situation right now, a once in a lifetime situation.
Despite all of these, monetary and capital markets’ reaction to it seems to be quite healthy compared to 2008 financial crisis. Accordingly, today, more experts believe that world economy will improve faster than it did in 2008, where it took almost 19 months to gather its straight back. So, rather than looking for the short-term effects of this situation, we should better focus on its long-term impacts on international relations, state governance, business models, social life and personal development.
First of all, a lot of business owners told me that they were able to achieve the same level of productivity and efficiency before the coronavirus with fewer employees. Similarly, people realized that they can perfectly manage their work from home as well. And it has also been noticed that the “wake up in the morning-have breakfast-change-get in traffic-go to work” routine is waste of both time and money. I can guess men leaving home to go to work hugely help women breathe a sigh of relief while women in the workforce feel more empowered in work environment. But, it has now become more obvious that many functions of a company can easily be carried out from home as well.
“Mutual consultation is needed to understand what life will be like in future.”
Obviously, there will be exceptions due to the fact that, in some sectors, sensitive data must be kept in company computers and servers. However, I believe after while Wi-Fi systems will be designed in a way to enable work from home in accordance with approved security policies.
As a matter of fact, this situation does increase unemployment. On the contrary, it creates a new method to solve this issue. It might be possible to design smaller work spaces where people will be able to work as efficiently as they used to. We might no longer need large buildings and facilities. Maybe, even the sports competitions will be evolved into something else that doesn’t require so much physical work.
Huge buildings like Wembley stadium where 100.000 people can sit side by side will be re-designed. Global sporting events like Champions’ League will have to come up with new possibilities about their match-day revenues. The digital age will bring the stadium atmosphere right into our homes, but at a cost. The same thing will apply to movie theatres, stage plays, and all types of mass entertainment models.
In short, the next process will be centred on less employment and more virtual environment, as opposed to more employment and more physical environment. More and more people will start working as freelancers instead of being on payroll, thus, banks and financial institutions will have more customers thanks to millions of newly launched start-ups. Obviously, the change will not come to pass overnight. A certain period of time will be needed to see the world evolve, but once it’s done, there will be no turning back.
So, I think the time has come for us to start holding meetings where everyone can offer fun yet strong ideas about how to prepare our companies for the future.