CommentarySociety

Who Benefits from the Pandemic?

Coronavirus in world

COVID-19 has changed the whole world and not always negatively. For example, environmentalists say that during isolation, the average number of “good quality air days” in China increased by 21.5%. European satellites have observed a 20-30% reduction of air pollution by fine particles.

At the same time, global companies have reviewed and optimised their business processes. Many startups have launched new businesses in different fields and areas.

And what about Ukraine? First of all, Ukrainians became more active in the fight against the pandemic: the volunteer movement collected thousands of ordinary people. They helped deliver doctors to work, bought food for the elderly, raised funds for medical equipment for hospitals, and so on. There are many useful examples. So what has quarantine has changed positively in business and society Promote Ukraine, asked the experts.

Julia Drozhina expert

Yulia Drozhzhina, head of the expert-analytical centre of the international staff portal Grc.ua.

2020 brightly highlighted for business the necessity to take an active social position and participate in solving the most acute social problems.

If before the global pandemic CSR projects were a part of the general communication of companies and brands, in the last few months they have become almost the only available and possible tool to stay in the information field and simply survive.

These are the events related to coronavirus and quarantine, which highlighted the fairness of the statement that we are all in the same boat. A business that thinks strategically understands that without the support of its partners and the whole society, there will be no future.

Therefore, in some respects, the coronavirus has become a trigger for positive changes. Some companies got involved actively in the fight against the virus itself and its consequences for the country.

Alexander Storozhuk, the PRNEWS.IO platform founder

Despite the considerable amount of negativity in the media about COVID-2019, the pandemic did not just cause huge losses and unemployment but also radically changed the landscape of Ukrainian business. “Thanks” to the crisis, entrepreneurs reformatted working processes as fast as possible, accelerated the decision-making process, and put interaction and dialogue with partners, customers and their employees in a focus position. So, what solutions and tools helped companies to overcome the first wave of quarantine and continue their business? Firstly, these are savings, costs reallocation and results’ assessment. We got convinced again that spending everything as once, without investing in a team and services is a direct path to failure. Secondly, long-term planning had to give way to a rapid response to the situation. Most companies have abandoned long-term strategies with a planning horizon of three to five and sometimes even 10 years – and now build their business based on the circumstances. Thirdly, situational and omnichannel marketing have become the main trends of the current year. The introduction of non-standard ideas, work with new (and unusual) communication channels, continuous experiments and the launch of unexpected projects for many companies have been a successful consequence of the pandemic. Fourthly, it is the intensive development of digitalisation and internal communications in companies. Finally, those who were moving to online format slowly for a long time have quickly completed all the processes under the quarantine.  Those businesses that have delayed the updating of their working algorithms received the proves that “offline” dies and needs to be accelerated.

Fifthly, business collaboration and cross-marketing. Any company looks for new sources of profit, and new opportunities of customers’ acquisition become invaluable under crisis. Collaboration (or cross-marketing) has not been a widely-spread phenomenon in the domestic business sector until this year,  though it has become an indispensable tool for brand and services promotion recently.

Valeriy Kulich expert

Valery Kulich, owner of the agrarian group of companies “Inter LTD”

During the quarantine launch, many experts and businessmen talked about the feasibility and success of remote office work. However, now they have changed their minds. After all, they felt a significant reduction in employees’ efficiency and effectiveness. At first, there was some starting effect, but over time it disappeared. I know this from the experience of many companies. I do not see anything positive in reviewing business processes under quarantine. That does not bring general economic growth and business had to enhance the processes.

At this time, the specifics of our business can be our advantage. After all, work in agriculture did not stop, so we did not cut our employees’ wages. Therefore, more competent freelancers in the labour market did not appear. Skilled professionals are still expensive.

Alina Melnyk, Research Fellow, Laboratory of Communication Psychology, Institute of Social and Political Psychology, National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine

In my opinion, the pandemic has had a positive impact on society. It is worth mentioning three main issues. The first thing I saw during the consultations was family reunification. People began to communicate more. Certainly, not everything is perfect, but people tried to find understanding in the family and at work. Everyone coped with the daily routine and began to cheer up, learn new things, share, plan and do something together.

Another change can be called a manifestation of humanity, empathy and general assistance not only to loved ones or acquaintances but also general volunteering, if needed. Someone declared the need. Some understood that they had the time, resources, and ability to help, and people began to do so. It has a strong psychological impact on the person who helps and on those who receive this aid. As the feeling of hope and support inspires further, as a rule, positive changes occur in the lives of both participants. That is a kind of path to vitality.

And the third change took place in terms of health care. Firstly, everyone started with themselves and their loved ones and, secondly, the information began to reach children massively, with an explanation of why to worry about health, how to do it and a description of the possible impact.

I see and believe that the stress received by Ukrainians, and the world in general, has had a positive impact and will affect the development of society and national standards of each country in the world.

Anastasiya Berezok expert

Anastasia Berezok, HR of Artweb.ua

On the positive side is the fact that many companies managed to build remote work for their staff, and this is a huge benefit in many issues, in particular:

  • significant savings of the office costs;
  • good time-saving on transportation to the office;
  • increased efficiency and, accordingly, a fast result.

From a psychological point of view, many people say that being at home for 24 hours is quite complicated, but no one stayed really. People walked, went to the store, went out with children. So, it was a perfect time to understand the relationship in the family and, if people are alone, to feel themselves.

Staff who have lost their jobs will find their place, but this situation should be an incentive for their further training and development. It is always worth having a plan B in a career so that such conditions are just a part of the world transformation.

Natalia Tolub

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