A Global Business Update in Challenging Times
Wow, what a few months it has been and for the first time in 9 years of owning the Elliott Scott Group I can say that it is not a positive wow. The pandemic that we have seen spreading around the world is unprecedented in our lifetime and has become a global issue that needs all the help and support that we can provide.
This is what am I seeing and hearing from all of my conversations around the world:
The number of cases in China has dropped to a level that implies that life is trying to get back to normal, but it will be slow progress. As I write this they have just over 5,000 active cases although how official those numbers are is also open to debate.
In Hong Kong fear is starting to return again after a few weeks of returning calm. Anger is starting to creep up as people from the UK, Europe and the US all return sparking a 3rd wave of the virus. All of my team in Hong Kong have returned to working from home again and visitors are being provided with wrist trackers so they can attempt to monitor the spread of the disease.
Singapore has a higher number of cases than Hong Kong, but due to the impactful measures taken by the government peoples fear seems to be slightly lower. However they are also experiencing a 3rd wave of the virus because of people returning from other countries. What is impressive in Singapore is the speed of how they handle everything even with regards to the launch of a new app to trace and track people that have been in contact with someone who has or develops the virus.
The UK & North America
From what I have seen I believe the UK and the US are around 8-10 weeks behind Asia in terms of the disease and its evolution. What seems to be clear in both locations is that some people are taking all the measures advised, however there are still a huge amount of people not giving this the level of seriousness that it deserves and needs. This is the 3rd week of officially working from home for our New York and London teams, yet even as late as last week we were seeing people from other companies still commuting in and not taking the governmental advice. Hopefully with the recent measures introduced this will change.
In the UK, a collaboration of researchers have just released an app aimed to help track the spread of the virus with people able to self-report their health status daily.
Numbers here are still lighter than we are seeing in other locations but we’ve been advising our teams in Brazil to work from home over the last week. My advice is to take this seriously, act now and try to reduce the amount of daily contact that you have with people. It goes against a lot of things that we stand for as a business but the sooner we get used to doing this the better and it is vital for the safety and wellbeing of our teams.
Overall I feel that, in Asia, people are attempting to have a ‘business as usual’ approach, while the rest of the world is still working through the initial panic of a new way of life. We can all help with this, by evolving our day to day life so that social isolation becomes the new norm for a period of time. And finally, let’s all be a little nicer, now isn’t the time to be blaming other people for what is going on, it is a time for action, a time for supporting those around you so that we can all come out of this stronger than ever.