The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic can be clearly seen, with B2C businesses undoubtedly the hardest hit. Beyond the initial impact, I have been thinking about the potential long-term benefits to our economy if we embrace the current refactoring of the way we work.
The environmental impacts of the lockdown have been well-documented thanks to fewer cars on the road and much lower mass transit travel. Neueda alone has calculated over 300 less daily commutes, with approximately 300,000 fewer miles travelled, resulting in CO2 savings of over 24,000 kg.
Coupled with the personal benefits of cost and time savings of a commute, as well as the reduced stress of daily journeys to and from the office, the health and wellbeing benefits start to stack up at a family, company, city and regional level.
New regional hubs
Most organisations in the technology space, like Neueda, are located in tech hubs containing top talent. Historically, this has included large cities or hubs such as Belfast, Manchester, London, Dublin and Silicon Valley. In turn, these hubs support a secondary consumer economy of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, gyms, hotels, etc.
Previously, most IT workers travelling to these tech hubs would earn and spend their money there, with the regional towns they reside in getting what’s left of the daily spend. Now, if the shift to remote working remains a permanent fixture, these professionals will still be earning city-level wages but instead spending it locally. Suddenly, a large portion of spend is now being distributed away from large tech hubs and cities to regional towns and small businesses. Repeat this in every large city across the world, and the economic uplift on a local level will be significant.
The adoption of remote working practices was likely to continue to rise over the next 10 years, but COVID-19 has accelerated this. Despite initial teething problems in some businesses, many have even seen an increase in productivity during the lockdown, which has been a positive and, for some, surprising outcome.
Neueda responded to remote working with remarkable readiness. Our great people have stepped up to the mark and remained highly productive, creative and committed. Also, our clients have embraced the change and tackled any challenges that have come with it to continue delivering outstanding services. We look forward to helping existing and new clients to accelerate their digital transformation and embrace this new way of working. Now comes the challenge of preventing isolation, providing the social element of the workplace and culture development. Not straightforward in the new world but all achievable with innovation.