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After the Lockdowns: The Post-COVID-19 Business Outlook

Most states in the U.S. are relaxing their stay-at-home restriction orders. Likewise, phased returns of commercial activities are occurring with an obvious note of caution. While no one knows what things will look like after lockdown, one thing is certain: It won’t look the same. Noticeable changes will be everywhere with some enforced and some simply due to changes in our behaviors. It’s therefore understandable to wonder what type of impact this will have on companies. What will the post-COVID business of the future look like?

In states where economies are reopening, post-COVID business changes are already evident. Restaurant tables are strategically placed to accommodate social distancing. Hair stylists are in full body armor with masks, gloves, and sometimes, even gowns. And the amount of tape applied to customer waiting areas has likely doubled this item’s sales in a short time. But from a broader perspective, businesses will experience much more profound changes after lockdown ends. For those wishing to survive, this is a subject worth exploring in greater detail.

“We want employees to be able to work where they feel most creative and productive…Over the past several weeks, we’ve learned a lot about what it takes for people to effectively perform roles outside of an office, and we will continue to learn as we go.” – Jack Dorsey, Founder of Square

  • Accommodating Remote Work from Home

It’s no secret that many businesses had to devise new policies and procedures during the coronavirus pandemic. The most notable ones pertained to working from home strategies. Social distancing and lockdowns made this the best option for many workers and employers to survive. But for the post-COVID business, these same approaches will need to be considered. Even after lockdown ends, the benefits remote work offers everyone will likely perpetuate its existence. Companies like Square, Twitter, Facebook, and Google have already acknowledged this. In fact, these companies are extending remote work options for many until the end of the year of after. Unquestionably, this will be an obvious change that post-COVID businesses will face.

  • A dog instruction a human on what to type on a laptop
    The post-COVID-19 business outlook will see a lot of businesses sticking to their work-from-home posture.

    Investing in Contactless Encounters

The post-COVID business of the future will also be one that embraces contactless transactions. During the pandemic, this was a necessity and will continue to be until a vaccine is developed. But at the same time, many customers realized the convenience these contactless interactions allowed. For example, virtual meetings were more likely to start and end on time. This is naturally more efficient in many ways and saves precious time. Likewise, many are now accustomed to e-commerce transactions and expect expedited delivery. After lockdown is over, these expectations are unlikely to change, even if in-store experiences resume.

“People are being forced to work from home [and] forced to adapt digitally. These behaviors will not disappear once the quarantine is over, it’s very likely that people who have been forced to adopt digital practices will continue these.” – Joe McDonnell, WGSN Insight

  • Adopting Social Responsibility Practices

One of the most significant impacts of the coronavirus pandemic was its ability to create fear and insecurity. The rapid spread of the virus and its health effects created a sense of panic for many. This was most evident in the decline of global financial markets as the pandemic spread. Understanding this, a good post-COVID business practice to consider will involve dedicated social responsibility practices. Businesses who prioritize their customers, their employees and their communities will naturally improve their social capital. And social capital fosters trust, which will be appreciated in the marketplace after lockdown ends. In fact, companies who commit to socially responsible practices have been found to perform better in the marketplace. Given economic predictions ahead, these types of investments may make a tremendous difference in survivability.

  • Redesigning More Equitable Employee Policies

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed many things that had previously gone unnoticed. Among them include the inherent inequalities that exist socially and economically in many areas. This has been particularly true for essential workers placing themselves at risk while receiving low incomes and minimal benefits. Health aides, grocery clerks, delivery personnel, and first responders can all be included in this group. Understanding this, it is highly likely workers will demand pay and treatment that is more equitable and just. A post-COVID business that addresses employee wage, benefits, and work flexibility will therefore attract better workers. Even with rising unemployment rates, such practices will make a difference over the long term in pursuing success.

  • Cultivating Resiliency Safeguards

Notably, the pandemic has tested all of us in some form or fashion. While some businesses have thrived during this time, many have not. Therefore, moving forward after lockdown, businesses will actively pursue resiliency measures to help protect them in the future. A typical post-COVID business will look at costs more closely. They will look to find efficiencies and an ability to improve their use of resources. And most importantly, they will look to risk mitigations that might help them survive a number of setbacks. No longer will these pursuits be something a few businesses consider. Resiliency practices will become the norm for the post-COVID business.

“Brands need to be asking themselves what really matters. That covers everything from workplace practices to how they approach consumers. A good question to ask now is, ‘How can brands empower consumers to be more self-sufficient?’” – Devon Powers, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media & Communication

Turning Back Is Not an Option

In all likelihood, a coronavirus vaccine will eventually be developed and will protect us from the infection’s effects. If or when this occurs, the opportunity to return to our prior way of life will exist. But the pandemic has taught us many things and revealed areas for improvement. It is clear that businesses are already adapting. Therefore, after lockdown is over, the ability for us to simply revert back to our old ways is not likely. Instead, we will be looking forward to improve and adopt new behaviors that work better. This will certainly be true for the post-COVID business of the future.

Making Aerospace History: Space-X Will Soon Take One Giant Leap for Mankind

In 2011, NASA’s Space Shuttle program officially shut down. The Challenger and Columbia disasters uncovered some serious issues that will stain aerospace history forever. But at the same time, it ushered in a new era of space exploration. Over the last decade, private companies like Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX have launched their own space endeavors. Seeing the potential that space travel has for humanity, these visionaries are taking space exploration to the next level. And for the moment, it appears that SpaceX might be taking the lead.

The recently announced SpaceX launch schedule now includes a potentially historic launch for May 27th, 2020. With good weather and a lack of unforeseen glitches, SpaceX plans to send 2 NASA astronauts into space. Aerospace history will be made if their mission is successful. It will represent the first time a private company has sent anyone into orbit. Of course, many things could go wrong, as both NASA and SpaceX well know. And arranging a SpaceX launch schedule in the midst of a global pandemic certainly isn’t ideal.

“I have a huge amount of respect for what Elon and the SpaceX team have achieved in such a short period of time. My respect is magnified because I know something of the enormous challenges involved in reinventing human spaceflight for the 21st century…” – Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic

SpaceX Launch Schedule’s Mission

The current SpaceX launch schedule is to occur at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 27th. The mission, named “Demo-2,” is to send SpaceX’s Crew Dragon space capsule into orbit to the International Space Station. Two veteran NASA astronauts will be aboard the Crew Dragon, which is why this will mark aerospace history. Bob Behnker and Doug Hurley will be the first astronauts to ever be catapulted into space by a private firm. To say this SpaceX launch schedule is being met with high levels of anticipation is definitely an understatement.

A capsule orbiting the Earth
Aerospace history will soon be made with a private manned spaced flight – are you excited?

At the current time, the U.S. has only one astronaut at the International Space Station. Not having any way to put additional astronauts in orbit has been a thorn in the nation’s side for the last decade. Most recently, the U.S. has had to rely on Russian space transit to take astronauts to and from space. But this has limited progress for the space program in many ways. This is a major reason why SpaceX has been granted a major contract by NASA in its space exploration efforts. NASA hopes to again return to its glory days that it used to enjoy in its aerospace history.

“There was a popular perception that these were a bunch of people who didn’t really know what they were doing. It wasn’t just a bunch of surfer dudes in a garage living in their parents’ basement and building rockets. It was a real impressive, large-scale operation.” – Garrett Reisman, Former NASA astronaut

SpaceX Enters the Space Race

SpaceX, which is short for Space Exploration Technologies, was not expected to realize any significant success by many. But it has been a major industry disruptor. Elon Musk, the brainchild of the company, invested $100 million of his own money into the project. But he did so against the advice of trusted friends and family. No one believed anyone without any education or experience in rockets should be launching a space company. But as Musk has done in other instances, he set out to prove them wrong. If the SpaceX launch schedule goes as planned, he will do just that.

SpaceX enjoyed some advantages along the way. In 2010, President Obama cancelled NASA’s Constellation Program, which was over-budget and well behind schedule. This program was supposed to design a fleet of spacecrafts for NASA. Subsequently, NASA signed a contract with SpaceX as part of its Commercial Crew program. To date, NASA has helped fund SpaceX’s efforts with more than $3 billion in grants. Ultimately, with ongoing success, this figure may climb as high a $30 billion in time.

“If there’s a test program and nothing happens in that test program, I would say it’s insufficiently rigorous. If there hasn’t been hardware that’s blown up on a test stand, I don’t think you’ve tested it hard enough. You’ve got to push the envelope.” – Elon Musk, Founder of SpaceX

Embracing Failures as Opportunities for Success

One feature that separates SpaceX apart from others is its philosophy regarding testing. Musk sees testing as a way to push designs and developments to the limit. If something is going to go wrong, then it only makes sense to have it do so during testing. With this in mind, SpaceX has had its share of mishaps throughout its aerospace history. For example, three consecutive testing launches resulted in a failure to reach orbit. Likewise, the SpaceX launch schedule has seen explosions to two Falcon-9 rockets and one Dragon spacecraft. But with each setback, the SpaceX team has learned a great deal.

In 2008, these insights resulted in a successful SpaceX launch schedule of a dummy satellite. The success awarded SpaceX a $1.6 million support grant from NASA to begin taking cargo to the International Space Station. These successes also allowed SpaceX to surpass Boeing and Lockheed Martin in access to government contracts. Combined with SpaceX’s reusable rocket boosters, the company has taken the lead among modern-day space exploration pursuits. It would thus seem that aerospace history is taking a different path as it moves into the future.

“One day it will be like commercial airline travel, just not yet. It’s like 1920. Lindbergh hasn’t flown the Atlantic, and they’re trying to sell 747s to Pan Am.” – Mike Griffin, Former NASA Administrator

An Exciting New Era in Aerospace History

Both NASA and SpaceX are hopeful that all systems will be a go for the SpaceX launch schedule in May. Anything is possible, however. With a global coronavirus pandemic, half of SpaceX’s engineers are working from home. Naturally, this creates some level of concern and caution. But given aerospace history for NASA, everyone is being vigilant in their preparations. And everyone is excited about the future potential a successful mission might introduce. No matter what, SpaceX will be making aerospace history in its efforts to privatize space travel. And it will indeed be a giant leap for mankind if all goes as planned.