REVIVAL OF U.S BUSINESS POST THE PANDEMIC
The COVID pandemic drove the US economy into the most profound plunge in ages. In the wake of hitting the most significant unemployment level the nation has seen since the Great Depression in April, the unemployment rate has consistently fallen.
The Senate passed a $1.9 trillion fiscal incentive package on Saturday containing direct checks for a great many Americans. This package aims to revive the US economy back to its days of glory.
There are empowering signs about the employment market. Total occupation postings sped up for a fifth consecutive week. Hotel Bookings are likewise up, a sign the important services industry is beginning to improve.
Let's have a look at how US business leaders are looking forward to a post-pandemic economy:
In terms of workforce, as different types of vaccines have rolled out, business leaders are optimistic for a post-pandemic period where they are looking forward to expansion and growth. However, it should be noted that it isn't easy simply returning to business as usual. The pandemic has allowed companies to reimagine how the work should be done and how the workforce should be managed. So, the business leaders are looking at strategies where the post-pandemic recovery period would take account of policies and procedures implemented during the pandemic period such as work from home, etc.
According to industry reports, more than 56% of CFOs plan to make work from home permanent, while others think work from home hinders creativity and innovation.
Investors and shareholders no longer rely on financials to judge a company but look at a broad set of KPIs considering a holistic approach to business dynamics. Just as companies produce financial reports showing the company's economic impacts, ESG Reporting has also gained importance among the investor community as this report displays the company's impact on three areas, mainly environment, social and corporate governance.
ESG provides a disclosure summary in quantitative and qualitative data based on analysis of performance across these ESG factors. Several businesses are now integrating financial reporting with ESG reporting to show the company's sustainability impact during the financial year.
According to Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report on Institutional Investors, 88% of investors have confidence in companies that prioritize ESG Reporting as such companies bring in long-term returns.
The year 2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges. These challenges opened doors for new avenues while closed doors for many existing businesses. The pandemic has allowed us to look at areas and aspects that we wouldn't have otherwise looked at.
According to a CFO Survey, 44% agree that their companies made appropriate updates to business continuity plans. Business leaders are taking bold steps to counter the challenges presented by the pandemic. C suite executives are concerned with financial implications that their businesses could inevitably face, including effects on liquidity, impact on operations, effects on company's equity, impact on financial position and performance.
Before the pandemic, many companies have made plans of switching to online work but were reluctant to move ahead as it was risky in nature. With the pandemic bringing in challenges, companies were forced to allow to work from home. The results have been astonishing in many cases that some of the companies are permanently looking forward to working from home.
Many US organizations are speeding up their way to deal with artificial intelligence (AI). A fourth of the organizations report far and wide adoption of AI, up from 18% a year ago. The remaining 54% are quickly moving ahead with the adoption of AI. What's more, they're not, at this point, simply establishing the framework. They're receiving benefits from AI at present, partially because it has demonstrated an effective response to the difficulties achieved by the COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, a large portion of the organizations that have wholly accepted AI report seeing significant benefits.
While the pandemic has given tough times to US businesses, the Biden administration might give them a more challenging time. As indicated by 67% CFOs who say under the new administration policy and regulatory risks will be more pressing. Businesses need to identify and examine how an increase in corporation tax might affect their business or business aspect, including cashflows, financial deals, and jobs.
It is imperative that all organizations have contingency planning to counter any crisis with ease and calm. COVID-19 gives a perfect example of why organizations should have a contingency plan in place to manage any disturbance to the company's operations, processes, and supply chains. The purpose of such planning is to ensure that each business meets interruption with lucidity, certainty, and calm.
After this crisis, business leaders now aim to conduct intense stress testing, a type of risk management tool, on their plans to make any amends where required and to stay one step ahead of any unforeseen situation and respond accordingly.