Waves of workers have begun to return to their jobs after those who were unable to carry out business from home were encouraged to head back. It may indeed be a case of off to work we go but not necessarily as we knew it before COVID-19. In this post our guest author, David Kightley, looks at the shape of things to come under the new norm!
Economic activity plunged 20.4 per cent in Quarter Two of 2020, the most since comparable records began in 1955. That was the second consecutive quarterly decline (down 2% over the first quarter) as the UK economy officially entered a recession. Economists use letters to describe the shape of a recession. Chancellor Rishi Sunak was hoping for a V-shaped contraction which dives severely but rebounds just as quickly, leaving the country able to weather the coronavirus storm with minimal harm. A W-shape repeats that and is known as a double-dip recession. Under a U-shaped recession the economy shrinks for many months and slowly returns to previous levels of economic growth. And then there is the worst case scenario where the economy drops sharply and flatlines in the shape of an L. That would mean the country is plunged into a recession to end all recessions (a depression) and then takes years to recover. Schemes to boost sectors of the economy such as Eat Out To Help Out (85,000 locations, 35million meals) come at a huge cost, £180million at the last count. With big businesses scaling back and job losses announced almost on a daily basis, the full impact will only emerge in the months and years to come.
Although in uncharted waters, we are a nation known for our determination, our can-do attitude and our resilience. No one could have forecast the challenges we’ve had to face together over the past few months. Across the country companies have been diversifying as they acknowledged that more than the government support packages are needed for the UK economy to recover. Restaurants changed overnight to home delivery services, car dealerships amazingly followed suit, retail outlets moved entirely online and factories transformed production lines to produce PPE for our frontline healthcare workers. Who would have thought that a Scottish gin distillery would be producing hand sanitiser gel at 70% proof for £14.95 a bottle! Virtually everything and everybody have innovated by seeking short-term video technology solutions, making Zoom owners dollar billionaires, which could become the long-term norms and reshape how we live, interact and travel, both nationally and across the world. Only time will tell!
COVID-19 has meant businesses being pro-active in peacetime like never before, reacting fast and flexibly to rapidly-changing government travel guidelines, healthcare requirements and local interventions. It’s a challenge that’s not yet over by a long chalk and when it’s eventually all over we will look back, possibly even stronger for the experience, and maybe able to see some positives from this unprecedented and difficult times in the country’s history. Unfortunately, there will be corporate casualties as well as the tragic loss of life and some businesses will disappear altogether. Others might transform themselves and re-emerge in a completely different shape. In the world of light entertainment, the 2020 Eurovision Song non-Contest may already have shone the light!
Whatever shape your business, organisation, charity or club finds itself in in the new norm, we’d just like to reassure you that DSD will be here, ready for you and able to social distance if you prefer the nearest thing to a face-to-face meeting! Fresh new ideas and innovation go hand-in-hand with the highest standard of personal service and hygiene awareness! For the foreseeable future, visits by appointment only.
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