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COVID-19, Finance

How Remote Working Saved the Economy Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The nationwide lockdowns initiated around the world, in an attempt to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused businesses and offices to close doors for the time being. Although it has caused quite a loss to the economy, a significant percentage of the working class has turned their homes into temporary offices through remote working. Initially not thought as the most ideal operational situation, however, in the present predicament, remote working has gradually emerged as the savior of the economy. 

In the last weeks, most businesses have transitioned online globally to stay operational amid the lockdown. Crucial sectors too have responded well to this new work culture, not to mention it has provided the working class to hang on to their jobs and income. 

The output, although not the same as before, but is sufficient to keep the tax revenue from a total collapse. 

Governments all over the world, have outstretched their expenses to fight the health crisis. Many have passed financial stimulus packages, that represents a good percentage of their respective GDP, to support the population. Amid such a financially critical time, remote working has provided the governments with the much-needed cushion, which according to experts will prove to be a good boost to the revival of the economy. 

Referring to the situation, chief US economist at S&P, Beth Ann Bovino commented, “It is amazing how we, as a country, seem to have stepped up and have been able to do our jobs, for the most part, under such extreme conditions.” 

Truly depicted, that goes for all the countries that are dealing with lockdown situations. All those, years debating on the pros and cons of a completely digital future, and its effect on the workforce and the work culture, the pandemic has just expedited it into a reality. 

Experts and market researchers are expecting this to act as a catalyst for the evolution of the operational structure across sectors leading to significant changes in norms and policies within an organization. 

The Economic Downturn

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a deep financial impact globally. Talking of the USA alone, around 10 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks of March. It has mostly hit the people in the low and mid-level income range such as department store employees, cab drivers, restaurant employees, flight attendants, daily wage workers and likewise, due to the sudden dip in demand of related businesses. Macy’s which is one of the biggest departmental store-chain in the US has indicated that it could furlough about 125,000 employees. 

The situation is the same in most countries, owing to which the global unemployment rate has been at its worse since 2008.

The practicality of Remote Working

The practicality of remote working has been a highly debatable topic, since long before the novel coronavirus disease hit us. It was cited in a survey (2019) that around 47 percent of the total $17.8 trillion worth of US economy came from industries where several positions can be covered remotely. The list comprised of insurance, real estate, finance, professional and business services, etc along with government services. 

On the other hand, industries such as mining, construction, transportation, wholesale trade, retail trade, manufacturing, landscaping, fishing, agriculture, and warehousing demand physical presence for operations. Other industries like healthcare, social assistance, entertainment, arts, accommodation, and food services fall within the same category. Nevertheless, there are the administrative part and other functions which can be handled remotely.   

Also read: COVID-19 Crisis Management by Banks and Financial Institutions

With the advancement in technology educational institutes can run online through virtual classes or video conferencing, just like they use in distance learning courses. However, it is just a temporary solution and educational services to need a physical presence.  

Experts have been debating that implementation of remote working where it is needed, significantly brings down the operational cost of an organization. 

So, the current scenario that has pushed us to turn our homes into offices, might have become an unintentional trial run that will bring forth a notable change in the work culture. Apart from that, it has also given a chance to the governments to assess and predict the performance of the economy and keep it prepared for such instances in the coming years. 

Ushering the Era of Decentralized Work

Workplace decentralization was a concept that had been in practice within the virtual asset industry. Hence, it hardly made any difference in that sector, one that is run by the power of interconnected systems and exchanges through blockchain networks. 

However, no one expected the rest of the crucial industries to follow suit that fast post lockdown. Once considered not that welcoming of an idea, decentralization was the only option left for survival after social distancing protocol was made mandatory. There might have been a few glitches initially regarding the setup and getting used to the new work environment, most industries have reportedly discovered the benefits of remote working. 

If it wouldn’t have been for remote working the global economy would have suffered a greater loss amid the pandemic. More people would have lost their source of income, plunging us into a deeper financial crisis. Left with minimum resources, we made the best use of it. Hopefully, this opens up a new era of remote work culture within different industries.   

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