6 Ways COVID-19 Has Permanently Changed the Business Landscape

The covid-19 pandemic has changed absolutely everything about the way we live. Unfortunately, the possibility of returning to the blissful ignorance of the pre-Covid era is simply a pipe dream. Human nature has been changed forever–from the way we greet each other to the way we travel, shop, and even the way we conduct business.

The Hospitality Sector

Bars are Closing

Public bars have been impacted hard by Covid-19. With the effects set to last, bar managers will have to completely re-evaluate the way they cater to their patrons. Bars across the country have been shut throughout lockdowns and tier systems with some never to return due to the financial impact of the virus. 

For those that do intend to open once the pandemic ends (if it ends), the drinks industry has been fundamentally reshaped. Training staff in safety measures and precautions will be at the forefront of opening any establishment, with more profit being lean towards cleaning products and time being spent carrying out disinfectant duties. Independent owners will find this shift in standards a lot harder to adapt to than commercial bar chains with larger budgets, which could lead to a huge decrease in independent venues. 

Bartenders may also be hard to come by and might expect higher pay or perks, like health insurance, to entice them into working in such a high-risk industry.

Restaurants are Adapting

The dining industry has already made an inordinate amount of changes to adapt and thrive in a pandemic world. Shifting from full lockdowns to stricter dining times and smaller guest allowances is a difficult pill to swallow but a necessary one. People will always be tempted to eat out whether or not there is an active crisis on their doorstep. This means that restauranteurs will be able to change and adapt to demand, proving to be more resilient than those in the public bar space. 

Some owners have had to open up outdoor spaces to try and accommodate more guests and still be in line with government health guidance and social distancing rules. Because of this, it is reasonable to assume that outdoor dining under marquees is the future so that restaurants can serve enough people to make a profit while keeping diners safe.

The Travel Landscape

Flight Safety is Stricter

The travel industry is essentially in lockdown for the foreseeable future. With very few flights operating, hardly anyone flying, and strict border restrictions in place, the future of the travel market is set to change substantially. Thousands of crews have been made redundant throughout the pandemic and it is not clear what impact that will have when people begin to travel again. 

 The world is slowly rolling out the new normal, such as wearing masks in public, on flights, and in airports, which is a factor that could become a permanent fixture for inflight safety.

Testing is Compulsory 

Another change we have already encountered is that passengers travelling to certain nations must provide a negative Covid test result prior to boarding to help reduce the risk of flyers catching the virus. This could ultimately change future travel legislation and incorporate vaccination certificates and additional tests before you are able to fly, which will ultimately have a huge effect on the future of travel businesses.

Events and Entertainment Industry

Events will Never be the Same

Festivals, concerts, theatres, and events have all been hugely affected by the Coronavirus crisis; the arts businesses are suffering more than traditional companies. Huge stars from all over the world have cancelled their events during these circumstances. Also, tickets are being postponed instead of refunded, in some cases. 

With potentially fewer people willing to attend large venues packed with people, the Covid-19 virus could change the face of ticket sales. Festivals have also been forced to change because of social distancing rules, the necessity of masks, and a focus on more local artists due to border restrictions. Event organisations will now need to factor in the threat of disease and virus’s spreading at their venues for years to come. Hence, a larger emphasis on using outdoor spaces and a bigger cleanup. It may even become compulsory to present a negative Covid test or a vaccination certificate with your booking.

Private and Public Offices

Day to Day Office Life has been Re-imagined

Working remotely has steadily become the norm throughout 2020, which is set to continue well into the future as many companies are now adopting this new style of working. With the development of new technology, working from home becomes an accessible option for all. Many industries believe this could be the future of working as it’ll help reduce costs of rent and other expenses that are taken up by hiring office buildings and house staff. 

Also, due to online meetings, face-to-face interaction between colleagues could become a thing of the past, especially since many prefer to work from the comfort of their own home than travelling into Central Business Districts on a daily basis. This, in turn, could have a significant impact on our retail industries that are often based near busy office districts–seeing a decrease in foot traffic and losing out on the custom of those who used to travel to work every day. 

The follow-on impact from the work from home mindset has the potential to be huge, impacting transport industries, hospitality industries, shopping precincts, and small businesses.

It is undeniable that Covid-19 has changed the shape of the business landscape forever. We owe a lot to the progress of technology that, as a society, we still managed to function in a pandemic that has swept through the world and caused significant disruption to the way that we work. 

The impact of the coronavirus is still to be fully realised and won’t be visible until vaccines have subdued the virus and infection number go down. It is evident that businesses will not be able to go back to the way we operated before, which is why we will have to adapt to a new form of normal.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.