The pandemic has had a tragic impact on the physical and mental health of people across the world. As the pandemic continues and we await a vaccine’s rollout, the economy continues to move along. Still, it has cut loose many of the straggling industries that previously maintained it. With lockdown still in place in many areas, remote technology, eCommerce stores and industrial warehouses appear to be the only clear financial winners.
Whilst remote working continues, those employed in the real estate market, dealing with office space are likely to struggle. The question is whether or not this will be a permanent shift. As Philip Michael, CEO of NYCE puts it – back in the year 2000, people were apprehensive about entering their credit card information online with a company such as Amazon. It may have been a similar hesitation with company owners, anxious about taking the proverbial leap to remote working.
With the apprehension of employers now, in the main, gone – office building owners and commercial real estate companies will suffer.
Retail was already struggling before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Those larger businesses with the funds to maintain themselves during the pandemic might be in a much better position when a vaccine is available. Those with ‘deep pockets’ will be able to outlast their competitors and therefore potentially survive the pandemic to return to some kind of normality in a much stronger position.
Remote Working & Outsourcing
It’s possible that after a largely successful transition to remote working companies of all sizes will look to utilise outsourcing more. Outsourcing has many benefits in the current financial climate. Company owners do not have to invest in any additional hardware or office space. They don’t have to give out permanent contracts and fill in lots of paperwork and pay per project. Freelancers tend to be more budget-friendly than local agencies too, especially if they are based overseas in a country with a less ‘powerful’ currency.
To hire a digital marketing agency in the UK, for example, you are likely to pay around £100 per hour for SEO. In contrast, a freelance SEO expert based in India costs between $5 and $25 per hour – according to a recent search on Freelancer.com.
Virtual assistants and phone answering services such as Moneypenny are also likely to emerge from the pandemic as a proverbial winner. Unfortunately, many people who previously worked in retail and real estate have found themselves without a job in recent months. However, many have rebounded from this and started their businesses, working from home. As many of those businesses begin to succeed and grow in 2021, they will likely look to expand without taking the financial risk of employing people. A phone answering service is a great way to free up more time and give a highly professional image to a solopreneur’s business. It is also a great way to provide a sustainable work/life balance, especially with the 24/7 service. By significantly reducing the chances of an unwanted phone call interrupting your evening, it’s possible to switch off, if only for a few hours in the evenings and weekends.
An exciting company to keep an eye on post-COVID with be KettleSpace. They take under-utilised hotel and restaurant space and turn those spaces into coworking spaces. The idea is that, as most restaurants and many hotels are empty during the day, they are perfect places to work from for those doing a 9-5 job. Although struck by the pandemic, the company may take advantage of companies and entrepreneurs who want to work from home for a set number of days and work from an office-type-environment the rest of the time.
Whatever the format, any remote-working technology is likely to come out of the pandemic with many more users and subscribers. Companies such as Avail can setup up automated rent collections and issue receipts, reminder emails, payment tracking and more. This makes it easier for both tenants and landlords. Many landlords have switched over to apps during the pandemic to keep tenants up to date with their payments. Having enjoyed the reliability and reduced hassle will likely continue as we move into the post-vaccine period, hopefully in 2021!
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.
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