Wednesday, December 7

The three irreversible changes that the pandemic has brought to companies and consumers

The Covid-19 pandemic has had profound consequences for the world economy. In 2020, global GDP is estimated to have fallen by 4.4%, the largest contraction since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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the pandemic too caused widespread unemployment and has exacerbated pre-existing inequalitieswith women and low-income workers being the most affected.

After such a deep crisis for companies and consumers, there are some things that have changed irreversibly, and that will probably never be the same again.

Remote work has changed office culture in many industries, as more and more companies realize the benefits (and savings) of flexible work arrangements.

Similarly, the rise of e-commerce during the pandemic has continued and is expected to continue in the future. Finally, the pandemic has also caused a sharp decline in business travel, as companies try to cut costs and use video conferencing instead. The figures confirm that these changes that the “new normal” has brought after the pandemic will be lasting:

I work from home

One of the most notable changes of the pandemic is the increase in working from home. According to a recent survey, 42% of workers Americans say they now work from home full time, while an additional 23% work from home part of the time.

In the case of Spain, according to a Ontsi report for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, states that “Spain was the country least prepared for teleworking, but it is where this modality grew the most”. 69% started telecommuting during the pandemic.

According to the CIS survey for the first quarter of 2022, teleworking in paid employment has dropped from 17% to almost 10% after the pandemic, although it has remained among the self-employed at about a third.

Both figures are much higher than before the pandemicin which three quarters of workers in Spain had never teleworked, the highest figure in the EU.

Despite the delay, the shift to remote work looks like a growing trend in the future. The previous survey indicates that 83.7% of Spaniards would like to telecommute to some extent, of which 23.6% wish to telework daily.

electronic commerce

The pandemic has accelerated a trend that was already underway: the abandonment of physical stores in favor of online purchases. According to the CNMC, in mid-2021 electronic commerce in Spain had increased by 13.7% year-on-year.

Although the pandemic influenced the increase in online shoppers, the evolution continues to rise. There is a forecast of a growth of 17% in 2022 and, according to the study e-commerce of Spain 2022 of IABthe products that drive it are above all entertainment and culture, fashion, food, travel and subscriptions to television platforms.

At the same time, the “brick” retail giant, El Corte Inglés, has announced the closure of numerous centers in Spanish cities. For consumers, shopping online means more choice and more convenience. For companies, the need to reconvert.

work trips

Despite the fact that the summer of 2022 was expected as the sign of recovery, tourism travel has not yet returned to previous levels. According to the United Nations World Organization, tourism so far in 2022 only up to 60% recovered from the level it was in 2019. Business travel has an even worse outlook.

According to a Global Business Travel Association studyduring 2021 total global business travel spending only recovered by 5.5% above the 2020 pandemic low.

The recovery has been interrupted by new variants, the war in Ukraine and fuel prices. The prediction for 2022 is to recover 65% of pre-pandemic levels, and full recovery not expected until 2026.

According to him CEO of Deutsche Bank, less business travel means more savings for companies, at a time when there is less demand. However, there are those who say that Zoom is not enough to establish relationships of trust, and it is necessary to see each other face to face.

According to a study by the US Travel Association, for every dollar spent on business travel, 12.50 in benefits are produced. The future will tell who is right.

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