Those of us who lived in Christchurch through the 2010-11 earthquakes have our own language. “Where were you. for the big one? The first one? The Christmas one, or the June one?” And out of the devastation of the city, the grief and the loss, the chaos, uncertainty and insurance dramas (and later, the wave of divorces) came a renewed and strengthened sense of community. We came together, supported each other, the Student Volunteer Army mobilised and we discovered resilience. Out of Christchurch, people didn’t really get it.
This pandemic has us all on the same page globally. The data, the personal tragedies within overwhelmed communities, the actions, inaction and Government policies and responses. We are all in this together, and the world as we know it has paused. We have a glimpse of a new future, more localised as we explore our own bubbles and less busy as we stop commuting, socialising, and driving the kids around.
We are experiencing an accelerated the rate of change towards a stay-at-home economy. In the short to medium term, this is going to hurt. The big question is, how much will consumer behaviour change over the longer term? And, what are the opportunities these changes might create?
It’s not all doom and gloom, as many businesses have discovered. Working remotely has many advantages for employees – flexibility, no commute or parking costs, improved productivity – and it seems likely we will experience a more permanent shift in that direction. Businesses are considering at how they can reduce their fixed costs over the long term, with the ‘work from home’ policy stacking up for some of our larger companies.
The pandemic has certainly widened the gap between companies and sectors that are more ‘tech-savvy’, and those that are not. Many businesses are scrambling, and hastily set up employee meetings have been Zoombombed with inappropriate content. By necessity there will be an acceleration of businesses moving their services and product offerings online. Businesses need to look at digitisation as soon as possible, and many will need help to bridge this digital divide.
Undoubtedly this is a highly stressful time, but also an opportunity to re-evaluate current business models and consider possibilities in the stay-at home economy. If you would like support to go digital, get a marketing action plan together and embrace this new future, get in touch for more information.