Since the start of the South African national lockdown to curb the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the 26th of March 2020, businesses have had to adapt to a new way of working that has forever changed the economic landscape of the country and the potential of digitalisation of the workforce.
Mostly throughout history changes to daily business operations have happened gradually but with the State of Emergency announced by the President, this gradual change has had to be streamlined. Today we take a look at COVID-19 and how businesses adapt to their current circumstances.
“Are we Zooming?”
A phrase that has become the norm as the days turned into weeks of online conference calls. Virtual meetings have never been this popular and we foresee a total change on how businesses view resources that have until now been located to ensuring employees and management have the time to connect. Virtual meetings seem to be straight to the point and great brainstorming sessions have sprung forth from many a Zoom room.
Digital Work from Home Spaces
Although the concept of working from home is by no means a new one, balancing digital workplaces have become the norm. Email, VPN and online conference calls have been around for over a decade but with the advances in broadband potential we are able to use these resources to ensure a complete collaborative effort from teams although most are physically isolated, demanding a shift in productivity. This has resulted in more and more developers coming up with virtual meeting rooms, at home productivity apps and more.
Let’s Get Virtual
Conferences that have mainly demanded an in-person attendance have shifted their focus to virtual conferences that make it possible for a greater amount of people to stream. Not only have we seen more companies take to online presentations of their conferencing courses, we have also seen entertainers step into this arena by offering LIVE Facebook and online events for their fans during this time. This is a major development in how conferences and concerts will be approached in future.
Local Sourcing and 3D Printing
Not being able to rely on international shipments of our favourite products, South Africans have had to research their local buying options, giving small business owners, local farms, and other local companies the opportunity to increase their inventory to meet the growing demand for locally made products. One of these opportunities have been to owners of 3D printers who have designed and developed new products for essential industries, such as face shields to hospital staff and more.
This has also given local business owners the opportunity to take their stores online and eCommerce has seen the greatest adaptation in years. Using online shopping to get essentials and other products have made lockdown life somewhat more comfortable for South Africans previously sceptic of this system.
So many businesses are adapting to these new standards in working and they are transforming the economic landscape through innovation, greater engagement with their customers and taking teamwork to a whole new level.
We foresee these adaptations making a permanent dent in how business is conducted not only in South Africa, but across the globe.