I’ve been contemplating if I do or don’t want to write anything connected to Coronavirus and if I want to publish anything about it at all. I feel like a lot of people and businesses are using and overusing this sensitive topic for their benefit using public fear to drive their revenue. But it is a big topic these days and will probably stay on top of the news headlines for a while. So while some businesses crumble and others flourish, these times can also be used as a proof of concept on how different our life has become from what it was just 20 to 30 years ago.
Remote work and outsourcing
Over the last decade we have seen a rise in freelancing, independent consultancy, and outsourcing in general. Yet, many people and business owners remain skeptical of the idea of having someone work remotely and outside of their workspace. Even those who do outsource, often-time, they aim to find someone who is physically located close by.
As a digital marketer myself, and even when I worked as a translator many years ago, I wasn’t fully in agreement with the need of a “physical presence”, especially when the work is online-based anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against the actual physical reality, but when the work is digital, I don’t think that physical presence should be a decisive factor. There are many brilliant professionals out there, so why limit yourself when 90% of all communication will be happening online anyway?
So as much as in-person meetings can improve communication and be more relatable, if this could affect your performance or budget, why limit yourself?
This is when the Coronavirus and social distancing can have a positive impact or alter business communication. Whilst many of us, worldwide, are working remotely, the most efficient workers in the end might be your digital marketing agencies, freelance developers, and outsourced content writers. Professionals that generally have an aspect of remote work as a part of their everyday jobs. It can be challenging to work from home with young kids and other distractions around, but other than that, working from home can actually be more productive than from the office.
So will this situation prove the concept of remote work so that more people can spend more time home with their families once the pandemic is over? And will businesses be more open to work with experts from abroad or different cities supporting the freelance industry and small digital businesses? I guess we will know soon, but it certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing.
The luckiest and the most forward-thinking ones are, probably, the companies and businesses, that recently went digital. Aside from various software companies, many more industries are moving digital that used to be offline: real estate agents, insurance services, banking, and many more. Additionally more and more small business owners are finally starting to build their websites, provide online consultancy, give quotes, and enable online orders, and that is not considering the growing e-commerce industry.
We all will have to face many difficulties due to Coronavirus and its impact on the economy, especially when it comes to leisure and travel industries. But in the light of the recent events we can also expect an increase in distant services and all possible deliveries. Many people will reconsider the way they shop, and once it will become a habit or will turn out to be more convenient, (physical) product oriented businesses will look into changing their logistics and business operations to gear their services towards online ordering.
What is the future of online and offline businesses?
This is the first time when digital presence unquestionably provides additional security, and the ability to be found in both online and offline realities can help to grow, save, or at least keep businesses afloat.
We have been saying for years that we live in a digital era, but have we really? Or will this latest pandemic event really tip the scale and plunge us into the new digital age. I’m certain that there are many things in life that should and will stay physical, this crises will pass, and the world will be back to its flourishing self, but our new “normal way of life” might just be a little different from what we were used to.