How Businesses Cope With Coronavirus
As of 29th March, some 25,045 people have died of the coronavirus. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in December 2019 things have gone off the charts all around the globe. As the death toll rises, people have been advised to socially distance themselves. The huge outbreak of coronavirus has made lives more difficult than ever. Not only has it affected lives but it has also impacted businesses from small to huge business giants all around the globe. Here’s how:
Work from Home
Employees have been let go or have been advised to work from home. Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Twitter, etc. have devised work from home policies as the situation grows more serious. All businesses from Japan to America have closed down their offices and advised workers to continue working from home.
Work from home was a precautionary measure taken by some organizations, but ever since WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic all organizations are being forced to do so. Organizations have laid off some employees leaving them helpless. With the uncertain situation nowadays, nobody knows when they’ll be able to work again.
Working from home is a temporary solution for the time to come. People doing this for the first time are confused about how to cope with all the new platforms they have to work from. People who are familiar with working remotely are facing other problems.
Last year, a study of 2,500 remote workers by online brand development agency Buffer found that loneliness was the second-most reported challenge. It was experienced by 19% of respondents. Loneliness can make people feel less motivated and less productive.
As the pandemic grows and restricts people from going out it has seriously impacted all forms of businesses and trades. Markets have hit an all-time low because of the coronavirus. A few markets that are more prone to downfall are discussed further below.
Stock Market Takes a Hit
A big shift in the stock market has been noted ever since the fast-paced spread of coronavirus in December. Many investors, as a result, have thus been affected. Pensioners and individual investors are included as well. Shares have taken a serious hit.
Big industrial Giants like the FTSE and DOW Jones have seen a recorded downfall since 1987. It is feared that this downfall in the stock market will cause huge losses to shareholders and businesses.
While most markets take a hit, some have been growing steadily. The Chicago Board of Volatility Index (CBOE has been growing steadily all through the mid of February to the current date.
Traders have sold their shares in a panic due to the fear of huge losses. The circuit breakers all around the market have been trigged four times in March alone. The government though has taken action, but it will not be enough to combat the downfall.
Banks all around the world have decreased Interest rates in order to stabilize the economy. Loans are being encouraged and spending is being promoted.
Travel Industry Takes the Hardest Hit
Most countries have imposed travel bans, both complete and partial. People are being to stay inside and limit their travel to necessary tasks. Countries like Australia and others have shut their borders for incoming international flights and domestic flights as well. Residents and citizens are permitted to return to their home countries. Some countries are encouraging their students and international delegates to return home.
All business trips and holidays have been canceled. Flights are now cheaper than ever. People who do try to travel are quarantined and are at risk of getting infected. Millions of tourism jobs have been affected. Updated research from the WTTC suggests that the travel sector could shrink by up to 25% in 2020.
EU travel ban has been imposed on airlines to ensure no tourists are entering the EU. While in the US, the Trump administration has banned the entry of all passengers from the European Union. While travel bans are in place throughout the world, enforcing bans strictly on any specific nationality will only promote racism and cause more problems in this troubled time.
Consumer Markets Take a Hit
Restaurants and Hotels
Consumers are panic buying non-perishable items at supermarkets to stock up. Other markets like hotels and restaurants are suffering. The fear of infection among customers has caused an all-time decrease in dine-in reservations at restaurants. While lock downs have been imposed now, restaurants are open for home delivery. But delivery alone will not suffice for the consumer revenue decrease within a month.
Factories are struggling to keep business afloat. It is one of the biggest most memorable disruptions in history. Supply Chain, Staffing and demand have all taken a huge hit.
Factories struggle to manage their work hours. Bans have been imposed on visitors. Workers are being advised to work at a safe distance to avoid contraction of the virus. While they struggle to manage their business, governments are increasingly imposing bans and regulations to ensure minimize the spread of the virus.
A Positive Impact on the Climate
While most factories have halted production, it has had a positive impact on the environment. Air quality in China was reported at optimal levels after the closure of factories. Air Pollution and CO2 Levels all over the level are falling off the charts gradually. A study by specialist outlet Carbon Brief found that in China, carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by around 25 percent. It seems as if the climate is no longer the crisis.
Even ‘Safe’ Investments Take a Hit
When all markets are volatile, investors typically chose to invest in safe options like gold, oil and other alternatives. The impact of the pandemic is so strong that even safe investments like gold have taken a hit. These safe markets are now volatile to market shifts.
Gold Market Volatile
Since the start of March, Gold’s value has recently declined by 15%. A 7 year high has been broken. Gold markets have a big difference to cover now because of the downfall. While the markets remain volatile, investors are reluctant to invest in the market nowadays.
Oil at a Record Low
Oil Industry is also one of the safe options for investment as well as the oil market has not been volatile for a long time. Since June 2001 oil markets were in a steady flow. Because of the outbreak oil prices have slumped at a new low.
Even though oil prices had already been affected by Opec, the spread of coronavirus has slumped the market even lower. Global oil demands are expected to decline by 2020. As all economic activity is coming to a halt it has created uncertainty as to what the future of the oil markets will be.
The IEA now sees global oil demand at 99.9 million barrels a day in 2020, down around 90,000 barrels a day from 2019. This is a sharp downgrade from the IEA’s forecast in February, which predicted global oil demand would grow by 825,000 barrels a day in 2020.
The economy is dabbling with uncertainty all around the globe. With the economy plummeting, jobs are decreasing and businesses are suffering as well. Current conditions are all the result of us being unprepared for such a situation. While the world struggles to cope with the upcoming conditions there is still hope that we will learn to work around our problems as days pass by and the pandemic moves towards its end.