Today the entire world has a common enemy. Covid-19 connects every single person on the planet and starting a conversation with anyone has never been easier.
While dreary, the silver lining is to know that we are all in this together and we will also get out of it together.
One of the most heartwarming things that I see is the care for our local businesses. Early on Swedish restaurants and Scandinavian airlines were hit hard and layoffs were necessary. Within days the airline staff was on the ground helping in the medical professionals. When many of our restaurants had to close almost immediately some instead became caterers to the hospital staff. The sense of local community and helping out is phenomenal both on a corporate level and between people.
There’s also an increased appreciation for our local heroes such as hairdressers, dog groomers, caterers, delivery companies, flower shops, and gyms holding classes outside to stay open while their income is far less than what they can reasonably live on.
An expensive lesson we have learned that the long supply chains have stopped production and businesses from continuing operations. For the service industry, we also see that companies want to work with local and owner-managed providers that have skin in the game. Why is that? They prefer to have the local assurance that the service will carried out without putting risking being affected by natural disasters or political unrest ina different part of the world.
Local connections also have the advantage of actually, after Corona times, to be able to see each other, have lunch, and also that we are connected by community, friends, co-workers, or interests. It’s easy to put a face behind a local company and to want to be part of their survival. You can also trust the services and products that you have right in front of you and there’s someone accountable in case of failure.
We help keep the lights on for each other. For instance, Nimmersion has continued paying for services we don’t need at the moment so our suppliers will still be there for us after the virus loses its grip over us all. We are conscious not to add to their burden by withholding funds or paying late so we can maintain the relationships long term.
Working with and for people that you share the same experiences with makes life easier. A large part of our highly skilled workforce has been recruited to Sweden at a great expense and companies look to keep them and their skills here. Swedish companies are agile and move faster than ever and are using the Short Term Work Allowance and other government relief programs.
We learned that local toilet paper trump’s toilet paper that has to cross several border and is delivered just in time and not having inventory. Joking aside, we favor local products and services because we can rely on them and we know much faster if there’s a kink in the service or product delivery.
To have accurate and real-time data is essential to protect employees, companies and our local communities. In addition, working with people you have met in person and trust is comforting in difficult times. A frequent question these days is “how do you know you can trust someone that you have only met on Zoom”?
We hear of clients being more prone to outsource services so they can shrink and grow to reduce vulnerability. Any HR, founder, or CEO that has spent the last several weeks on making changes to the workforce will know how much time that took away from working on the future, development and opportunities. To be able to outsource and have the freedom to shrink, grow, and find the right freelancers is better than being in emergency mode. A wish for the giggers to be geographically closer will likely happen to control the environment but also spreading the risk over several geographic locations is a way to safeguard continuity.
Globalization will continue, yet production will most probably happen closer to the customers while the knowledge shared can be sourced from afar. This, of course, will be good for the planet and it will please Greta. Preparedness and control will be upgraded and will carry a higher importance than cost.
Real-time data is important to make accurate and agile decisions. It’s important to understand what is real and what is fake news. Having a number of great resources as well as people that you trust is essential
While the local business will thrive, but the global knowledge and skills will still be needed and they will be recruited and localized to a larger extent.