The Delta Variant and Business
The hopes for a turnaround after the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus last year have been stalled for many on account of the Delta variant. Most businesses figured the comeback would be gradual. Now, the comeback will be more gradual for some and delayed for others. More concern and questions abound.
Concern and caution
In a report published recently in Small Business Trends, 76 percent of local and small businesses are understandably worried about the impact the Delta variant will have on their recovery. Aside from being able to remain open, these concerns now extend to the possibility of mandated government orders that would limit how small businesses operate. As of now, however, customers are either required to wear masks or present proof of vaccination—or both—in many establishments. So, a considerable number of places are open—conditionally. Others have opted to remain remote.
Remote and hybrid work settings extended
According to JumpCloud, nearly 37 percent of small-to-midsized businesses in the United States and the United Kingdom had, at one point earlier in the year, hoped to return to their offices, even if on a gradual basis. They hybrid setting—working some days in an office, the others from home—is an option of choice for many businesses. The spread of the Delta variant, however, made them change course and remain remote. As of now, approximately 70 percent of small-to-midsized companies are offering work-from-home options indefinitely. And, as stated above, safety precautions, such as the wearing of masks and social distancing, will be maintained in office settings for now and the near future.
Forecast for the future
Is there an end in sight, or at least a sign of when day-to-day activities will resume as they did before the pandemic—and now the Delta variant? Anneken Tappe and Nathaniel Meyersohn, writing for CNN Business, state that it is currently too soon to know how severe an impact the Delta variant will have on the economy, calling this situation “a cloudy crystal ball,” and that businesses should be ready to adapt as needed in the face of an ever-changing economy. On the positive side, Tappe and Meyersohn note that job growth is increasing and inflation has shown signs of leveling off. These may be general signs, but they are still an indication of how businesses are navigating and managing in very uncertain times.
Change that will remain constant
With all of the questions and concern about how the Delta variant will continue to impact the economy, it is possible to forget the main priority businesses must maintain, which is providing top-of-the line service to their customers. And businesses should be mindful of how the customer journey has changed—in everything from expecting and receiving quality goods and services to a seamless shopping experience. And the customer journey will continue to evolve, and businesses must be ready to evolve as well. Download the EGC study, “Psychology Behind the Post-COVID Consumer” for an in-depth look at facts and figures of what shoppers expect.
If your business could use assistance in how to market its products and services in these ever-changing times, contact EGC today. Whether you would like to change your brand strategy or increase your presence on social media, among many other services, we can help.