10 Ways The Coronavirus Is Changing The Way We Do Business

JD robotThe coronavirus will have a lasting effect on the way we conduct business. Here’s just a few examples of how things are changing, and will ripple through the economic globally, not just in China.

1. Working remotely or outside the office is now standard operating procedure. Going back to work at corporate buildings and cubicles won’t ever return to the way it was, often considered as mandatory in the past.

2. Conferences and events that provide networking opportunities and intelligence gathering are shifting to online meetings. Video conferencing and webinars are far more popular now and likely to stay. Sequoia Capital China moved a recent matchmaking session between startups and investors to totally online, via Zoom.

3. Increased use of robotics and automated processes is already happening for logistics, retailing and factories. This is likely to grow as a longer-term strategic solution to the spread of viruses. Chinese e-commerce company JD is using a fleet of self-driving robotic vehicles to deliver goods within close range in Wuhan.

4. Supply chain operations will push forward with diversification geographically to avoid disruptions in production and shipping.

5. Social etiquette of shaking hands when exchanging greetings is being replaced by the elbow bump — or just a smile and a nod of hello.

6. Disinfectant sprays prominently displayed at meetings is nothing out of the ordinary now. At the recent OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem, these bottles were strategically placed for frequent hands cleansing.

7. Business travel prices are coming down particularly in places where the outbreak is most severe. It may take several months before flights and hotel rates return to normal. Execs may reconsider if they really need to take that extra trip for business.

8. On-demand delivery will get a boost. Designated drop-off points rather than home or office delivery will become the norm.

9. The image of China has been tarnished as a weakness has been openly exposed. Consumers and businesses could think twice before buying China in the future.

10. Further investment in biotech advances to prevent the spread of such viruses will no doubt escalate and continue.