The Rise of the Virtual Business
It’s not just retail that needs to embrace the new digital world, it is also businesses.
Government have ‘encouraged’ home working and many companies and organisations have imposed mandatory work-from-home policies to protect their staff in this increasingly ‘no-touch’ world. The sudden move to remote digital working, overnight and en masse, has the potential to accelerate changes in how work is performed and the way we think about our working arrangements. It was only a few months ago I would have flown round the world for a crucial client meeting, insisting skype / zoom / teams would not suffice but now these meetings are successfully conducted remotely on a daily basis.
"if commuters spend just one day a week working from home after the crisis - or commuting later - the roads will be as empty as they are in the school holidays….. People travelling up and down motorways just to hold meetings is inefficient, expensive and not good for the environment. I think use of roads and rail and indeed bus will be reduced after this crisis."
Edmund King - AA President
The benefits are not just cost and environmental impact but also efficiency and work-life balance. I have always thought I was needed in the office, this has shown me that I’m not. I just need to communicate, and communication comes in various forms. Once this wave breaks, lockdown is lifted and confidence rises again, our mentality will no doubt have changed. E-commerce will make a considerable leap forward, consumers will look to spend differently, working from home will not be the exception and 2020 will forever hold historical significance as the year that super-charged the digital evolution of business and retail.
Covid-19 is a defining moment in history that may set in motion a new standard.
Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Retailers will have to build on these changes or adapt to them. Businesses will have to reassess their demands on location.
Our world may be confined physically to our home at present but through the power of the internet we have never been as globally connected. Let’s learn from this and grow.