COVID-19 is proving to be a pandemic swinging a double-edged sword. Not only is it tragically affecting the whole world with thousands of deaths across the globe but it’s also decimating even the most stable of economies thus negatively affecting the global economy as a whole. While it is true that every industry around the world has felt the impact of this coronavirus, there are a few that have been virtually wiped out of at the very least, terribly crippled by the pandemic.
Tourism, the hotel industry, the entertainment industry in terms of restaurants and bars have all been rendered static by this disease. With more and more countries announcing local lockdowns and banning international flights, there are just aren’t enough people traveling or doing anything that resembles a hobby outside of their homes. There are, however, companies that have been lucky and have done very well during this crisis. Think Netflix (most of the online streaming giants) and Amazon.
How Companies Are Changing to Fit the Times
Despite the fact that this pandemic is currently bringing the global economy to its knees, innovative business owners and businesses are quickly adapting to these trying times and finding new ways to conduct their business as well as help the community they serve. Here are some special ways that companies are changing to fit the times:
1. Airbnb is Helping to Provide Free Stays for COVID-19 Healthcare Workers
In conjunction with a number of nonprofits such as Hospitality Homes and Fisher House Foundation, Airbnb is providing about 100,000 free homestays for medical workers who the frontline of defense when it comes to dealing with this pandemic. This gracious gesture has also been extended to people who need medical care due to this virus. The idea is to provide both medical staff and patients with a suitable place to stay that is near a major hospital. That way, the people who need dire medical attention don’t have to travel too far to get it.
2. Restaurants are Focusing on Home Deliveries
For the most part, this has been a directive by most governments across the globe – eateries are no longer to seat people but deliver food orders where possible. As such, a large number of restaurants and even fine dining facilities are having to change how they serve their customers.
One way they are doing that is by providing drive-through services where customers can just pass by to pick up their orders. Studies show that people are okay with picking up their food through the drive-through method because they consider their cars as an extra layer of protection against the virus.
Fine dining establishments such as Canlis in Seattle has turned to sell bagels and sandwiches as an attempt to adapt and remain in business through these times. Neighborhood food joints such as Top Cuvée in London, UK has become Shop Cuvée and is doing deliveries instead.
3. Customer Service Centers Are Now Mostly Chatbots
Since most of the world is geared towards working from home to minimize movement and human interaction so as to flatten the curve from this virus, most companies are shutting down their customer service centers. For the most part, these services are now being offered online through various social media platforms and chatbots. In fact, the world’s most visible health organization right now, WHO, is using chatbots to globally combat COVID-19 misinformation.
That is a very good example of how AI chatbots are helping businesses stay afloat and remain operational. From Amazon to local hospitals and most tech companies, if you need any kind of assistance now, there is a very good chance that you will get a faster result by engaging with a chatbot online.
4. Netflix is Holding Virtual Parties
The fact that we can’t go out to the cinema does not mean that we can’t watch movies with our friends – virtually. Gigantic online streaming platform Netflix has found a way to bring people together to enjoy the movies they like by hosting what is known as a “Netflix Party“. This is a new way to watch your favorite movies together with your friends through the platform. Netflix has even provided you with a way to group chat with your friends during the movie.
5. Tour Companies and Real Estate go Virtual
These are two of the most negatively impacted industries by this pandemic. Because people can’t travel due to quarantine orders, lockdown, and bans on international travel, some tour companies have resorted to bringing the world to your living room in the form of virtual tours. For example, you can tour Machu Picchu and a host of other famous sites virtually now.
Virtual tours in the Real Estate industry have also made it possible for people to view and even purchase houses from across the country without living their homes.
There is no doubt that this pandemic will not only change most industries going forward but it will also wipe a good number of businesses off the face of the planet. Every good business owner has to find new ways to cope with it if they are to keep their business afloat. These examples show how innovative people can get when they have to be in the face of COVID-19.