Graduated pace and increased reliance on technology top expectations in return to work
LAST MONTH, TWO organizations — Insightful Prosperity and London Inc. — commissioned the Impact Study on Reopening the London Economy to help decipher how area companies, big and small, are tackling challenges as Ontario looks to reboot the economy.
The feedback provided from our respondents shows extreme uncertainty in what the new normal will look like for businesses. Though some sectors were less affected, particularly if technology allowed remote working environments, there are some companies that have expressed doubt on their ability to reopen in the face of restricted guidelines and months of declined, or zero, revenue.
As we move forward, one thing is very clear: businesses and employees will return to a changed working culture. With social distancing at the forefront, the biggest challenge facing many business owners and managers is how to adapt. Opposing workdays to limit interactions or a maze of plexiglass dividers? In other instances, it could be that some businesses may not go back to the office at all, as the work-from-home test has been successfully passed.
But most everyone surveyed is optimistic that life will return to normal —with adjustments — by the fall. But the reality is that each pandemic this world has seen has come in waves, and we need to take the learning from spring 2020 to better prepare and get ahead of any spikes this fall.
The weak points vary by industry and employee. Respondents shared stories about challenges such as unavailable childcare and technology restrictions, and we also heard plenty about reductions in revenue based on quantity of product/service that could be provided given restrictions by public health authorities.
One thing is certain, each business, person and family has been deeply affected by Covid-19. Future planning with so many variables and unknowns is a huge challenge. However, taking lessons learned since March, we are better positioned to make decisions should an outbreak be declared again in the fall.
The survey in its entirety is below.Impact Study on Reopening the London Economy