The world economy is facing a severe slump. The BBC reports that the US economy has shrunk as much as 32.9% over a few months thanks to shelter-in-place orders within several states. Companies around the world have had to either shut their doors or allow staff to work from home. Law offices are shut and working remotely using technology to keep in contact with clients and even depositions and courts. Many businesses have already started shifting to a remote-working system, and the virus forced their hand to bring those measures online sooner than they would have liked. With the world in a state of uncertainty and outbreaks happening every so often, it can be difficult for industry leaders to plan for the following month. Several positive steps to ensure the safety of employees has come to light in recent months.
Mandatory PPE for Entry
Companies that employ a large number of people have opted for making mask-wearing a mandatory step in the control of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) mentions that masks can help slow the spread of the virus from an infected person to an uninfected individual. Frontline personnel, in particular, are encouraged to wear protective masks, if they become infected.
A Personnel-Based Approach
Larger companies have set up hotlines for triage in case an emergency erupts. They have added emergency guidelines in the event of one of their workers being discovered as infected. In addition to these measured, several larger businesses are going the extra mile for their furloughed workers. CNBC mentioned that Microsoft is offering to pay hourly workers regularly, even though they risk working fewer hours. This attention to workers’ obligations is something more companies should adopt during this uncertain time.
Dealing with Supply Chain Issues
Before the virus, several companies could have taken for granted where their raw materials further up the supply chain came from. However, the global pandemic has forced businesses to re-ascertain exposure to the virus. Most notably, companies that rely on Chinese goods and services were hit extremely hard because of the severity of the outbreak. Now, as these factories are restarting, other issues start to show, with bottlenecks occurring in freight and shipping transit points along the supply chain. If businesses are to survive, they will need to take the time to fix their supply chain issues before they cause a critical failure.
An Uncertain Future
No one can determine for sure when the crisis caused by the virus will dissipate. Some estimates but economic recovery some five years in the future, but that’s a global figure. Taken on a country-by-country basis, recovery could take even longer than the stated five years. Businesses that want to weather this storm have options. They can look at making themselves more resilient by offering their workers work-from-home alternatives or providing safety equipment for the staff at the highest risk of contracting the virus. Companies relying on the supply chain need to work out kinks and potentially locate alternative suppliers. With the future of the world economy in the balance, it’s all these businesses can do to fend for themselves.