A survey conducted by the auditing firm Ernst & Young has shown the almost half of top management of companies surveyed in 45 countries around the world are accelerating plans for further automation of their workplace and business as more and more employees are forced to stay back and work from home because of a strict travel restrictions imposed by governments to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The survey noted that about 41 per cent of the people surveyed were already investing in speeding up automation as businesses prepared to start operations after the end of the virus pandemic.
This survey results were released days after figures in the United States showed that more than 3.3 million Americans had filed for unemployment benefits amid the coronavirus pandemic which was a record for the country since records were being kept since the early 1960s. in the week before last, the number was at less than 300,000. More than 477,000 people applied for universal credit in just nine days in the United Kingdom.
“The human cost is the most tragic aspect of this crisis, not only in terms of the lives lost, but also the number of livelihoods at risk,” said Steve Krouskos at EY.
The survey results showed that plans for major transformation before the Covid-19 pandemic hit were already being planned by companies.
“As business leaders respond with urgency to the unprecedented impact that Covid-19 is having globally, workforce welfare and job preservation will be at the top of their minds.”
The UK government has already announced a government subsidy of 80 per cent of salaries for those workers who are unable to do their jobs because of travel restrictions and stay at home advisories imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
On the other hand, most American adults are now slated to get a cheque of up to $1,200 following a record $2tn stimulus package announced by the US government to steady the economy.
It will however be necessary for executives to make faster moves to re-imagine, reshape and reinvent their business and to create value for the long term after the passing the coronavirus pandemic.
Normality in business and economic activities is expected to return by the third quarter of this year, believes 43 per cent of the 2,900 executives who were surveyed by EY. However till then, there will be a “severe impact” on the global economy because of the coronavirus pandemic, said 73 per cent of the respondents.
A majority of the companies have said that they would focus on new investment in digital and technology and they were already implementing major plans for transformation., the survey found.
“Business leaders are seeing their transformation plans paused or slowed currently. With these plans set to restart, possibly with added energy, once the situation stabilises, executives will have to make faster moves to reimagine, reshape and reinvent their business and create long-term value,” Krouskos said.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)