Impact of Coronavirus on the Global Workforce: How will it change the way we work around the world…?
Within weeks of the initial outbreak, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began disrupting the global workforce. We’re experiencing a direct impact on the way the world is producing goods, providing services, and delivering products.
Additionally, we’re bearing witness to the way labor forces around the world are, in a sense, stopping the way they function. To present further concerns, world health officials, like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)) have indicated that this crisis may have only just begun.
Considering the immediate and potential long-term effects on the global workforce, our global location and workforce team have taken a deep dive into several key elements of the virus that are impacting the way we work.
Assessing Changing Commute Patterns
With the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) increasing with daily information provided by local, regional, and national government agencies and media, we’re seeing the immediate impact on the way the global workforce is commuting.
For instance, there are nearly 10 billion trips each year on public transportation in the United States alone. How do you think the commute patterns have changed for the U.S. as of now? Whether commuters are changing their commute method, deciding to drive as opposed to taking public transportation or even having the option to work remotely; commutes are changing during this global pandemic.
Additionally, we can take New York City for example as their actions showed us the severity of this virus on the public and their commuting patterns. Following a confirmed infection, the MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) has enacted a 72-Hour cleansing cycle to help disinfect their network of 472 subway stations, over 1,900 subway cars, and nearly 2,000 buses.
We’re seeing these changes globally, as locations such as Tehran have also begun efforts to disinfect their forms of public transportation.
Dealing with a pandemic such as COVID-19, it is also inevitable to see that there will be a reduced workforce by a number of industries. For example, you can surely expect such attrition in the industries of Travel and Tourism, where many people collectively gathered to enjoy vacations, conferences, etc.
What’s unique is the fact that even though recent economic forecasts of been positive, there was an element of an expected reduction in headcounts in their businesses; the Coronavirus has only expedited this process of global workforce attrition.
One way to combat these issues we’ve discussed thus far is to implement the ability of a recent trend in the workplace of enacting Remote Working on a larger scale. The privilege that our innovation and technology efforts have spawned are seen directly in our ability to communicate on a global basis via our computers, tablets, and mobile phones.
The nuance of it all is how this privilege has seemly become a need and short-term viable solution to help continue our global workforce running on all cylinders.
For example, we see major businesses such as social media giant, Twitter, encouraging their global workforce to work remotely as a result of COVID-19. In addition, Google also followed suit by encouraging its 8,000 employees in Dublin, Ireland not to come to the office.
This is an innovative privilege that now needs to be considered by all businesses. Cultivating the conversation regarding the value of remote working continues to lend itself more to the notion that’s it’s more of a need for our global workforce.
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Going forward, please join the conversation as we will continue to discuss the impact of Coronavirus on the global workforce. We also encourage you to download our report to learn more about the lasting impact this pandemic will have on the labor force.
About the Author
David Hickey is the firm’s Managing Director. Based out of New York City, David leads Hickey’s global operations and client delivery team.