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Impact of COVID-19 on business

Understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses, areas of concern and how organisations are dealing with them.

The need

In July 2020, Continuous Improvement Projects Ltd through a Co-Innovate Journeys collaborative project launched a survey bringing together academic expertise from Brunel University London and Middlesex University.

We set out to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on businesses, areas of concern and how organisations are dealing with them to support businesses and the Government in tapering their approach to achieving sustainable economic recovery. 

A total of 16 different industries participated in this research project and the findings of this research provide an evidence-based perspective on how businesses are responding to the pandemic and planning for the post-COVID era. 

The outcome

The findings of this survey emphasise the need for immediate efforts to be focused on people and operations. There is confidence amongst business stakeholders that they will grow within the next 2 years. However, in order to achieve this, transformational changes will be required to operations, delivery of services and products, and technological infrastructure in order to manage and optimise their workforce to generate greater value.The Evidence document outlines recommendations on potential support packages and areas of focus for the Government to consider, based on recent survey data, lessons learned from the past, professional experience and respected academic models. This research is intended to support businesses and the Government in tapering their approach and will be used by the team of specialists at Continuous Improvement Projects (CIP) to reflect on their own strategy and target operating model so that they can adapt an approach to better support the future needs of businesses.

New ways of working to consider

The research findings suggest that Covid-19 has forced us to adopt new ways of working considering the changes that will be required across different aspects of businesses. The study also highlights that acceleration in using digital solutions will be a significant area of focus for several business sectors moving forward. Although some industry respondents have suggested that it will be worthwhile using a hybrid model as transitioning to a fully virtual delivery is implausible. The majority of industry respondents will be placing a focus on customer experience with some indicating that they will be looking at ways to reinstate face-to-face interactions. Furthermore, some businesses see this pandemic as an opportunity to invest a significant amount of money in upgrading their IT infrastructure. When looking at the employee experience and reimagination, the majority of respondents feel that it's imperative to focus on safety measures, including social distancing, increased cleaning frequencies, better risk management and the implementation of better precautionary measures to withstand future crises. Other aspects present within the responses are staff training and multi-skilling with only 1% advocating that they will concentrate on working from home.Driving cost savings whilst maintaining and improving service levels is an inevitable requirement across every industry in the months and years ahead. Efficiency and productivity have been explicitly mentioned in the study as being key priorities for most businesses in the coming months. The research suggests that the application of lean principles to drive efficiency, improved profitability and maintain optimal quality is a key enabler to maximising economic recovery. Digitalisation as the solution to sustainability has been mentioned by many respondents in the study.

Project teams

Co-Innovate Journeys |

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Case study last modified 16/06/2022

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