The State Of Work During COVID-19 Epidemic: What Employers Need To Know

Posted by Ryan Frazier

As the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread, workplaces around the country and across the world are adapting to the changing circumstances. In-person meetings are shifting to virtual meetings, and “Zoom happy hours” are becoming the new normal. But as the situation continues to evolve, how can organizations continue to make the best of it and what does this mean for the longer term?

To find out more about how the state of work is changing, we took a close look at some of the key things that have happened over the past few weeks—and how they’re likely to affect American workplaces in the weeks and months to come.

Virtual is becoming the new normal
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent most of the past several weeks communicating with your team over Slack, Zoom and Google Hangouts. These platforms are making remote work infinitely easier for companies across the country—and they have the growth numbers to prove it. In the past month alone, Zoom stock has gone up by more than 30% and Slack has added 2.5 million users

As workers continue to get settled in their new remote routines, companies are bringing their workplace culture into the virtual world and finding new ways to stay connected. For many organizations, this means mirroring their real-life workspace with digital team lunches, water cooler Slack channels and even virtual spirit days. And as new modes of communication make collaboration easier, many teams are realizing that they’re able to maintain their productivity despite the current challenges.

Companies are adapting more quickly than expected
Few of us would have imagined earlier this year that we would be living in a world where life and work look so different. The impact on the travel and hospitality industries has been significant, with many businesses closing their doors for the time being and laying off employees. 

Yet for those industries that have not been as hard hit, companies are learning to quickly adapt to the changing circumstances and finding new ways to do business despite the current challenges. This includes gyms and fitness studios offering more online classes, with some companies such as Obé Fitness seeing 10 times more member sign-ups in just one week. It also includes adapting sales methods to the new virtual landscape and even finding new solutions for the supply chain issues faced by many industries. While it’s still too early to gauge the long-term implications of the COVID-19 epidemic, companies continuing to do business despite the massive disruption we’re experiencing.

Some industries will thrive despite the challenges
While many industries are struggling to cope with the new challenges brought on by the epidemic, some industries are experiencing unprecedented growth during this volatile time. These include industries like digital communications, telemedicine and online learning. 

According to J.D Power, only 9.6% of Americans used telehealth services before the epidemic, yet over the past month telemedicine apps have seen a huge boost in the number of users, with companies like Amwell reporting a 158% increase in appointments nationwide. Online education is experiencing similar rates of growth with apps like Duolingo reporting 100% user growth in China over the past month and a similar rate of growth in the U.S.

As the sate of work continues to shift as a result of the epidemic, it’s hard to fully anticipate the changes we may be facing within the next several months. Some industries will undoubtedly continue to struggle as ongoing quarantine measures will prevent a return to business as usual. For now, however, many companies are staying the course and adapting as best they can to the shifting landscape. 

Want to learn more about how to keep your team up and running during this challenging time? Learn how to address coronavirus fears with your employees and how digital interviews can help you keep your recruiting on track.

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