It’s almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and by now, people are much aware—and feel—its impact, especially in entrepreneurship.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the number of active business owners declined significantly during the year’s early months. It went down by 22% between February and April. That’s equivalent to 3.3 million enterprises.
Meanwhile, a September Yelp Local Economic Impact report revealed that over the thousands of businesses that temporarily closed because of restrictions, an overwhelming 60% are shut down permanently. This is even though the number of shops that are starting to open has been increasing.
There’s no doubt the pandemic has already changed how businesses run — but what happens to these industries after? What is the future of enterprises post-COVID, especially workplaces and insurance demand?
1. The Demand for Insurance Will Increase
One of the biggest realizations in this pandemic is the essence of insurance. Before COVID-19, the number of Americans without health insurance reached over 2 million. Some experts believe this figure will go up this year even with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The pandemic, after all, leaves plenty of companies shut and people without jobs.
A Swiss Re Institute report also suggested that the insurance industry will suffer a major setback in 2020 because of the pandemic. The demand for life insurance, for example, may contract by 6%. That of non-life products will also decline by 0.1%.
However, the report believed that insurance would bounce back by 2021 (and likely at a much faster rate than other industries). Companies in Utah, for example, may begin to invest in business insurance. This product could help mitigate the effects of profit losses and even disasters like a pandemic.
Nevertheless, the Capgemini Research Institute cited that insurance companies also need to digitize their services and promote their products’ resiliency and flexibility. These include possibly offering on-demand or usage-based insurance.
2. More Workers Will Prefer a More Flexible Setup
Pre-pandemic, about 5 million Americans worked from home. At this time, that number has already increased dramatically as over 85% of organizations encouraged their teams to go remote.
After many months of this setup, most may prefer to continue working from home even after the pandemic. According to a Cisco survey, at least 58% would like to be remote for eight days each month. Companies such as Twitter have offered their employees to work from home forever.
This preference will then change the dynamics in the workplace, especially socialization, collaboration, and security. Virtual meetings may remain popular, but unless the platform and the Internet improve, over 45% will complain about poor audio quality. About 34% will suffer from laptop fatigue.
Working from home may increase the risk of anxiety and depression due to feelings of isolation. Thus, to cope, businesses may shift to a hybrid setup. Employees may still have to report to the office on some days. Otherwise, companies will let go of a conventional office layout in favor of the more casual co-working spaces.
Until the pandemic is over, no one can guarantee what the future in insurance and the workplace will look like. But companies can better prepare with these forecasts.