The new normal: Preparing for coronavirus’ long-term impact on business

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing havoc around the world, and at this stage it is clear to see the devastating impact that it is having on our people and economy. Looking ahead, we cannot ignore the lasting effects that this pandemic will have on “life as we know it” and must prepare ourselves for the fundamental changes that this will bring to our society as a whole.

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic

In order to slow the transmission of the virus, a drastic change had to be implemented in the way we live and work. This change was social distancing and it had to be implemented almost overnight. It suddenly put every company’s ability to work remotely to the test and unfortunately many came up short.

According to Gartner, 54% of business leaders indicated that poor technology and/or infrastructure is the biggest barrier to effective remote working. In some cases, even the companies who had the infrastructure in place lacked the culture required to make operating remotely a success. 

A recent Gartner survey also revealed that 91% of HR leaders have implemented ‘work from home’ arrangements since the Covid-19 outbreak. The biggest challenge however stems not only from the lack of technology infrastructure, but also from a lack of comfort with the new ways of working.

If you think about it, we are currently conducting one of the largest social experiments ever executed on a global scale. Boards would have never agreed to allow an entire workforce to work from home and physically distance themselves from their clients and colleagues in this way, but here we are. And the outcome may very likely prove to be a viable case study for this new way of working.

It is highly likely that many short term emergency measures that are implemented now will become a permanent fixture, as emergencies tend to fast forward decisions and the implementation of processes that would normally have taken years of deliberation in the past. 

Everyone is asking when this will all be over. The short answer is “never”. Yes, the word will normalise again but it will be the “new normal”.  In a couple of months from now, new ways of working would have been tried, tested and implemented and become permanent fixtures with lasting benefits to the companies who took action during this time.

There are important ways in which businesses can prepare and react to ensure that they mitigate the adverse effects the virus will have on their operations in the short and long term.

Keep an eye on Enlight Strategic’s Covid-19 section, where we will be sharing advice, research and recommendations to ensure that your business does not get left behind during this crucial time. 

The decisions that business leaders make now will forever shape their businesses for years to come. This epidemic is a wake-up call for companies to carefully review the strategies, policies, and procedures they have in place to protect employees, customers, and operations and most importantly make the improvements to their business that have been long overdue.

We hope you find the content in this section useful. Please feel free to reach out to us on or +27 72 744 7993 if you have any questions or would like to speak to a consultant directly.