On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It’s hard to fathom that the world is now over a year into this once-in-a-lifetime global disaster, but the calendar doesn’t lie. This is a grim milestone, to say the least, with well over 100 million confirmed cases and over 2.5 million deaths worldwide. At the same time, the United States is marking more than a year of various levels of social, educational, and workplace changes. Millions of Americans have been working remotely for the first time in their lives for over a year now, and companies across the country have had to make tremendous adjustments to maintain business as usual.
1-Year Holistic Benchmark
Throughout the past year, businesses have been trying to track changes in productivity, overhead costs, and other measures related to the major changes that were made to cope with the pandemic. While most have a pretty good idea by now of how they’ve fared, the 1-year anniversary of the start of the pandemic provides a good, holistic benchmark for reevaluating and confirming those findings.
For one, it takes time for companies, their employees, and their business partners to adjust to new modes of doing business. How they were coping in April 2020 isn’t necessarily how they were coping in February 2021. Additionally, the ability to track these changes across an entire year helps control for seasonal variations that might impact earlier evaluations based on a partial year.
For example, companies can now look at a year-over-year comparison of how employee engagement and morale have changed, how recruitment and retention efforts have fared, and how much productivity has been impacted by the shift to remote work.
It’s hard to believe the world has been in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year. With millions dead and over 100 million having been infected, it’s a logical time to remember the human cost of the pandemic. It’s also an opportunity for businesses hit hard by the pandemic to do a year-on-year comparison to determine the true economic impact of the pandemic.