Chris Biggs, Managing Director of Theta Financial Reporting discusses why businesses should continue as normal for as long as they can and how this extended global isolation will propel digitising the world’s workforce, kick starting the 4th industrial revolution and making remote working, the new norm

On 23 March, 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced strict new curbs on life to tackle the spread of Coronavirus. People may only leave home to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where "absolutely necessary", to shop for essential items, and to fulfil any medical or care needs. Shops selling non-essential goods have been told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who are not from the same household, will be prohibited from meeting.

This comes as the IHS Markit/Cips private sector purchasing managers’ index (PMI) – a gauge of economic performance – plunged to a record low of 37.1 in March from 53 in February. A score of under 50 indicates contraction, meaning the private sector shrank at an unprecedented pace this month. 

In the UK, business activity crashed at a record pace in March 2020, as efforts to contain coronavirus sent the UK economy into a tailspin, preliminary survey data has shown, putting Britain on track for an extreme recession. 

At Theta Financial Reporting, we believe this period of isolation could become the norm of UK-based workers. 2020 will mark the true start of the fourth industrial revolution, truly digitising the modern workforce for good. Looking back, we will remember this period as simply ‘business as usual,’ as employees work more flexibly at home, work can be completed as effectively away from the desk as at it, and more virtual offices than we have ever previously experienced.

This is why businesses need to recognise and embrace how we currently have to work as the new ‘norm’ and where they can continue as they normally would. Whether that be delivering services, fulfilling orders or speaking to clients, this form of flexible working will be the norm long after the COVID-19 crisis passes. Continuing as normal will also help to restore confidence in the market, maintain productivity and minimise the impact of Coronavirus on the professional services arena and business as a whole.

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