Donald Trump is singularly focused on the American economy and not the Corona pandemic. The reason is self-preservation. As we have been discussing, America has changed. It is no longer will the American economy change but how much has it changed. The Corona virus has hurt workers and businesses alike. But its silver lining, at least for agile forward-looking businesses is that they can bolster their bottom line and be prepared for the future.
To do so, they must rethink their way of working.
The perfect example for this new dynamic is how the educational system has been forced to move towards distance learning.
Schools have been steadily moving away from in-school classes towards virtual classes. It has been a long, tedious and super slow process. Change is difficult and peoples’ way of life must be forced to adapt. The pandemic has now forced the schools to implement a distance learning process. One that they have been reluctant to do before the current crisis.
Implementing distance learning, or remote learning is not simply deploying computer software and hardware. It requires rethinking lesson plans and adopting it to technology. It requires changing the way teachers teach. But it goes deeper than just changing how the teachers teach or how they manage their lesson plans. It requires rethinking how families deal with kids at school.
Schools have been a safety valve for many families. In addition to socializing children with peers, schools are also havens for some kids, and a source of food for others. For parents, schools were mostly babysitters for their kids while they went to work. Now, under the new regime, parents must also rethink what to do with their kids. The responsibility for children during the day has shifted away from the schools and back to the parents.
That is the fundamental change that made distance learning unattainable in the foreseeable future, until now.
But the Corona chaos has forced everyone to rethink how they will live in the future.
First it is important to point out something that business owners should note. The companies that have been developing distance learning tools along with the ones that have been implementing cloud technology are the companies that are making money during the crisis. Most importantly, they are creating long-term clients for themselves.
Remote workers and distance learning are now here, whether individuals and companies are ready for it.
All this ties back to the current economic upheaval.
Donald Trump is singularly focused on November and thus he wants to get America back to work as soon as possible, not because he cares about workers but because his campaign is based on the idea that he made the American economy great again.
Incumbent politicians do not do well when the economy is down.
Like schools who have been forced to jump towards distance learning companies are now looking at jumping ahead with remote workers. As we have discussed before, workers and real estate are the largest expenses for most businesses.
Remote workers solves the bottom line.
Having remote workers gives companies the ability to game the bureaucracy that forces them to provide worker benefits such as health insurance. The litmus test for most benefits is whether a company controls the location where the employee works or at what time the worker arrives and leaves work.
Remote employees does away with much of that litmus test because rather than clocking in and out at the workplace many employees would be tracked by their productivity. For example, how many data points they add to the company’s data stores. Working remotely also does way with cafeterias, transportation and office space that some companies must provide.
As we looked at the example of how schools must overcome the many obstacles because teaching must continue when schools are closed so must companies now consider whether the disruption of transforming towards remote workers is something they should tackle now that the economy is disrupted anyway.
The longer the economic upheaval lasts, the more companies will begin to make the jump towards remote workers.
That is not to say that even if Trump were to manage to open the American economy in the coming weeks that economic prosperity will return.
Whether America is open for business in the next week, or not will not change the fact that the economy has been hurt and the pain will be felt for the rest of the year.
Many companies will not survive. Many will close. Many companies will take the time to shed workers they did not want, need or were trying to get rid of. The pandemic has given them the prefect opportunity to restructure their workforce.
For Trump and for Americans, the economy has been damaged.
The future will shift, many times kicking and screaming, towards remote and fewer workers and technology doing much of the work, not withstanding stimulus packages pretending to protect the workers from the future.
The future is here and we must accept it.