The Coronavirus has inflicted illness, isolation, quarantine, recovery, death, economic misery, unemployment, migration and many more negative effects.
Coronavirus has made some positive impact also. Some of these positive effects have been possible due to the advent of cyber technology, which traditional business models refused to recognise due to various reasons. But the emergency situation caused by the pandemic forced organisations to not only take cognizance of them but also to use them. We see lots of business models crumbling today and some more will, in the coming days.
To assess the positive impact of the lockdown enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I conducted a dipstick survey in which I asked 15 respondents over telephone to name any such impact as per their perception. All of them are my friends and are engaged in full-time desk jobs in their offices and belong to different industry verticals. None is from the sales and production functions. Their perceptions span one week of lockdown. As time passes, more points may emerge. You are encouraged to mail your positive experiences to me at [email protected]
. If they add value, I will add them to my next update.
The following are some of the points made by my respondents:
1. Working from home (WFH) is simpler than working from office.
2. About 75% of the office jobs can be done by WFH.
3. About 95% of back office jobs can be done by WFH. This includes data centre (DC) and security operations centre (SOC) monitoring.
4. Genuine office work-load (of 8 to 9 hours) can be completed at home in 5.5 hours on an average.
5. A lot of time is wasted in the office on unnecessary face-to-face meetings and tea.
6. WFH does not demand fancy and expensive attire, shoes and make-up.
7. In the internet age, cost of office space and utilities are wasteful expenditure and savings add to profit before tax (PBT) – more profits, but more taxes too!
8. WFH saves a lot of getting-ready and commuting time, averaging to 4.1 hours / day (for a sample size of 15 respondents).
9. Average time saved per day is about 6.6 hours.
10. WFH also reduces office politics and idling time.
11. Air pollution and noise pollution can drop to near zero.
12. We can hear the chirping and tweeting of birds.
13. Some people have reported seeing the rising red sun after a long time.
14. The things we have learnt to live without, are unnecessary for life.
15. Social media is more powerful than any other media.
16. We can live without cars, trains and taxies for days. Using personal vehicles is an unnecessary luxury.
17. Cremation and weddings do not need big processions and expenditure. Similarly time and money spent on parties and parlours is well saved.
18. We now have a close-knit, cohesive, vibrant family. Husband and wife can really live together in harmony, adjusting with each other. Family happiness quotient has increased with lower incidence of illness.
19. Ample time becomes available for necessary but neglected personal needs like health, family, reading, hobbies etc.
20. A 9 to 5 schedule is unnecessary. You can plan your schedule as per your convenience except the pre-defined common time.
21. Home food, hot and leisurely, with family, is the best while hotel food is optional, and we can well live without junk food.
22. It is not so difficult to work at home even without maids and servants.
23. Many men have discovered their hidden skills such as sweeping, mopping, cooking, washing utensils, singing, dancing, and gardening. One husband reported having discovered a more scientific way to clean utensils. Some husbands/ sons can cook even better than the women of the family.
24. Some people are planning to do online courses.
25. People with material wealth have low immunity to disease, while people who do manual labour under the sun, have greater resilience against illness. Hence we know that money cannot buy health.
26. Epidemic / pandemic is most secular and an efficient equalizer.
27. Hidden misery of the poor and the quantum of migrant labour has become known.
28. Bureaucracy can be a real facilitator, if proper leadership and guidance are provided. Government machinery can be responsive and honest and government money can be spent without red tape.
29. God now listens to those who do not visit places of worship.
30. There are a lot of good people in the world. However, even during emergency situations, some people are greedy. There are many places and people that offer daily food, including langar in gurudwaras.
31. Money is easily available, if used for a noble cause. Charity is not something you give; it is a satisfaction you receive.
32. Saving money is important and one must have a personal war chest.
33. Cash is still the king.
34. Stock market is as, or even more dangerous than Coronavirus. Mutual funds are really subjected to market risks.
35. China has ZERO trust quotient and we must boycott the made-in-China items.
36. In some specific shops, panic buying ensures that all dead stock can be sold without any clearance sale.
37. Education can also be imparted remotely. Home education may be a viable or even a better option. Why have schools?
38. Tele-medicine is possible. And hospitals can be built in a few days.
39. Some Indians take pride and draw sadistic pleasure in breaking any/ all laws. During abnormal times, Indians are united except for a few traitors, who indulge in nit-picking, ignoring all the good work done.
40. Vacations at one’s own home and in India this is possible. Vacations in Italy, France, Spain, Germany or England may be more dangerous than visiting a slum.
41. First world countries are more vulnerable to fancy diseases than are the third world countries. We are still far better off than Europe and US.
42. At least one of the Chinese products, namely Coronavirus, is durable.
43. If government follows the right policies, it will boost Indian industry in the next one year. We are still able to almost maintain dollar / rupee rate.
44. Are cinema halls, theatres necessary?
45. Corona forced the Supreme Court to modernise and humanise.
46. Prisoners jailed for petty crimes can be released.
47. A good leader rules the mind space of masses. The difference between a good, average and bad leader is clearly visible. A bad politician will always be a bad politician.
48. No mainstream media is independent. All have their pro or anti agenda.
49. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has a new task cut-out for itself.
50. धीरज धर्म मित्र अरु नारी। आपद काल परिखिअहिं चारी॥ Courage, faith, friend and wife are put to test in times of distress.