Coronavirus Upends the Economy
It’s all anyone can talk about, no matter where they live: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The disease, officially designated a pandemic by the World Health Organization, has swept across the globe over the past several months. Much of the world has been impacted by the disease, with hundreds of thousands infected.
Needless to say, this pandemic is affecting all sectors of the economy. Even as the government announced new spending packages to help American workers, many employees have already been furloughed, laid off entirely or ordered to work from home. Despite incremental progress toward containment, employers continue to struggle with how to meet business objectives while satisfying their employees’ interests.
Many employers do not have the option to close down and must figure out the best ways to keep employees safe, but still productive. In the case of the service industry, like bars and restaurants, some employers have the opposite problem—they cannot remain open due to government orders. Many of these businesses are uncertain about what to do about their employees—and their revenue stream—during this time.
Looking Toward the Future
All of this uncertainty is backlit by a declining stock market, which begs the question about long-term job losses. Experts are looking at 2008’s recession as a predictor of what’s to come, and that period brought unemployment to 10%. With all this in mind, employers must do what they can to retain talent. This crisis has shown the value of remote work capabilities, which enable employees to remain safe and productive from their homes.
Employers should consider this avenue when looking for ways to attract and retain workers. Furthermore, expanding a telecommuting option may help employers attract workers who are leaving other companies during this pandemic and don’t have such capabilities.