Governments around the world are struggling to put together financial packages to keep businesses afloat and people in work as the coronavirus lockdown starts to take its financial toll. Whilst the current situation is difficult for many sectors, others are seeing their businesses boom.
As the number of infections continues to rise and half the global population is on lock-down it can be difficult to stay active and manage to relax. However, as Pedram Zohrevand made clear in a recent interview: “Taking care of yourself is important”.
In more normal times, people would go to the gym, join a yoga class, or go for a walk to destress, but with those options now unavailable to hundreds of millions of people, relaxing and de-stressing remotely has become a huge business opportunity. Fitness coach Joe Wicks is keeping everyone active with millions of people tuning into his YouTube livestreams every day, whilst yoga instructors are finding success on video apps like Zoom, managing to supervise classes far larger than would be possible within the constraints of the physical world.
Despite many people facing wage cuts, some ecommerce stores are booming as high streets around the world are shuttered to try and keep the spread of the virus under control. Ecommerce was already causing problems for high street businesses, but the speed by which some online stores have filled the gap left by high street closures may signal a significant change to how we all shop in the future.
Whilst the likes of Amazon are the obvious winners from a shift to buying online, outfits like Shopify have also seen an increase in the number of people launching new stores as small high street boutiques and food and drink suppliers suddenly look to sell online. Shopify has extended its free trial period to three months to position itself as the place for people looking to start selling online, and if the number of Shopify web addresses we are starting to see are anything to go by, they are making a success of the situation.
When ecommerce grows, so do deliveries and the current situation is no different. Whilst logistics firms are struggling to keep up with demand and a workforce that is at risk of infection, they could come out of the crisis with very healthy balance books.
Workplaces are shut around the world, but the majority of businesses still want to keep going and that means they need to stay in touch with their employees who are working remotely. Luckily, the growth in remote working over the last few years has meant that tools such as Google hangouts, Zoom and Slack were ready to serve the new demand.
Even the UK government is holding remote meetings over Zoom these days, and whilst many were not too impressed they were not using something more secure, it demonstrates just how ubiquitous these tools have become and how important they are for managing teams remotely – a situation almost all companies now face.
Schools and universities are shut and many workers have been furloughed and that means there are millions of people ready to learn new skills online over the next few weeks. Online learning platforms like Udemy and EdX have thousands of courses to help anyone learn new skills ranging from advanced mathematics to cookery and everything in-between.
Photograph by Sarah Pflug