With millions of people around the world falling into unemployment, and many losing houses and other assets, we can’t deny that COVID-19 has devastated the economy. Yes, many governments from around the world have bailed out businesses and jobs through enormous grants and schemes, but we must look beneath the surface.
It’s probably fair to say that very few are left untouched by the impacts of COVID-19 but some industries are less vulnerable than others. While some industries have managed to arrange for their staff to work from home, others have had no other choice than to lay off a large number of their workforce.
There will be businesses that come out of this stronger than ever and many more that will not recover. While the full impacts are yet to be seen, we can already now conclude that this pandemic will change many areas of our lives, including the job market.
More working from home
In 2017 it was estimated that 29% of workers had the option to work from home but only about 5% of Americans, about 8 million people, were actually working full time from home. During the coronavirus emergency when employees have been told to stay at home more workers are taking the opportunity to try remote work.
Compared to 5% before the pandemic, up to 30% of the workforce is expected to continue to work at least partly from home even after the coronavirus emergency. Of course, this doesn’t apply to businesses where employees must physically be there such as construction, but it can certainly be applied to a good number of industries.
With so many lockdowns and work from home measures ordered around the globe, businesses have needed to adapt and implement home working resources just to keep going. Now, here is where it gets interesting, for businesses and managers alike may start to realize that the business has not suffered through employees working at home. In some instances, many may realize that working from home has actually proved to be more productive than having everyone coming to the office.
This has already been apparent in several industries, and we feel that once things return to normal, working from home could be a far more regular thing. Following the increased work on remote several companies sees a significant increase in business as companies are investing in videoconferencing tools, better broadband services, and home office technology. People living in remote areas will also benefit longterm from these changes as more businesses are adopting to remote workstations.
A rise in the ‘gig’ economy
The ‘gig economy’ is basically a term used for people who work based on short-term or even one time jobs. Some classic examples of these would be those who drive for Uber as a side-hustle and those that may do various delivery services on top of their job. This is what is referred to as the gig economy, and these are the guys that have still been thriving even with the coronavirus pandemic.
This is especially true of self-employed people, who have debatably been the most vulnerable of all during the crisis. Many self-employed people have had their income dry up and have needed to look for alternatives, and the gig economy is an awesome way to ensure that income keeps flowing in.
We don’t believe that this will only be the case during coronavirus, and we feel that more people will become familiar with the benefits of working in the gig economy as time goes on.
A potential rise in entrepreneurship
If there’s one thing that has become apparent through the devastation of coronavirus, it is this – salaried jobs and full-time contracts are not as secure as they may seem on the surface. With millions of people losing their jobs within a matter of weeks because of the virus, it just goes to show how fragile this infrastructure actually is.
There are clearly companies out there, even major ones, where they may only have enough cash in the bank to survive for a matter of weeks following a disruption to regular business. It is this exact reason why countless people have lost their jobs, and what better way to counteract this than to control your own income as a freelancer or entrepreneur? This is what entrepreneurship enables many people to do, and we feel that the coronavirus may have widened people’s eyes to this path as a feasible option.
Again, not all types of professions are suitable for entrepreneurship but during the coronavirus emergency, many are forced to find alternatives and see new opportunities. Some industries see an increase in service requests during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in certain professions being in high demand across the nation.
Many businesses, especially restaurants and shop-owners, use the lockdown as an opportunity to renovate the facilities resulting in high demand for professional contractors. Even the Locksmith industry has reported increased demand during the coronavirus emergency as business owners want to make sure their property is safe while under lockdown and homeowners with no work to go to make more damage than good as they try fixing broken door locks themselves, instead of using a professional locksmith.
While we have suggested many ways for how the working world could change once everything becomes normal again, we cannot say for certain. We have only based these opinions on facts and statistics as well as what we see around us, but we have a feeling that at least one if not more of these predictions may become correct in 2020.
At the very least, we would think that people will start to look for side-hustles as a way to earn extra money and put it aside for if something like this happens again in the future. It may also be the catalyst for people looking at better ways to manage their finances, as sadly, thousands of people just did not have the savings to ride out a pandemic like this.
This is all food for thought, and when the virus subsides, the clouds will clear, and we will see just exactly how the working world recovers from this awful pandemic.
Interesting related article: “What is the Gig Economy?“