How businesses are prepared to face the challenges of COVID-19?
Professional Partnership of Advocates “Deloitte Legal” conducted a survey of companies and organisations operating in a country, which shows how businesses are prepared to face the challenges of COVID-19 and how the pandemic related crisis will affect business results.
Answers to the survey questions related to corrections of this year activity targets showed companies’ uncertainty of the future – 39% of the respondents provided that they are still not aware whether they will change targets of this year, more than a quarter (36%) will highly reduce previously established targets, 16% will try to keep the established targets while 5.8% plan to increase reachability in the market.
The majority (59%) of the respondents provided that the situation is most felt due to slowdown in sales and the challenges of cash flow, even a fifth (22%) mentioned the inability to directly serve customers as the main negative impact on their business.
“In the face of a crisis, especially one where the environment is changing day by day or even more frequently, continuous monitoring of processes and rapid reaction to changes are especially important to business. That is why it is important to have a team which is primarily responsible for monitoring of current processes, analysis and quick decision making (or provision of suggestions to the manager). Those who will make informed decision quickly, will have the greatest potential to mitigate negative effects of the crisis” – says Tomas Davidonis, partner at Professional Partnership of Advocates “Deloitte Legal”.
Based on current corporate actions, the companies represented by the respondents divided into almost two equal groups - those with (46%) and those without (41%) an in-house crisis management team (business reaction and continuity team), that monitors the COVID-19 situation locally. Almost half of the respondents (46%) stated that members of such team meet at least once a week. One-fourth (26%) of the surveyed companies stated that such team consists of the management, one-sixth (15%) – of the administration, while the remaining part responded that such team consists of representatives of other functions or specialists of specific fields.
Respondents also identified, which are currently the most needed actions related to employees: updating sickness policy (17%), remote work opportunities (16%), solutions on reduction of employees’ psychological stress (12%), the newest information and advice for employees (10%), suitable office protection (10%), provision of remote work measures or optimisation of existing ones (9%), other separate actions (26%).
Most of the companies (39%) started implementation of the abovementioned actions as of 16th of March, other companies (32%) were in the implementation process at the moment of survey, and only 17% had started the implementation of such actions from the beginning of March.
As provided by the respondents, the main challenges of implementation of supporting measures were financial problems, obscurity and uncertainty about the future, assurance of work places, quality control of employees’ work, lease payments, lack of preparation for current situation, lack of employees and other.
Half of the respondents (51%) responded that their businesses are selling goods and services to the consumers, 10% are providing professional services (law, business consulting, accounting, etc.), 10% are providing education - related services, the rest of the respondents are from other business sectors.
The majority (70%) of the representatives of responded Lithuanian companies (69) provided that they hold managerial positions, part of the respondents (13%) were administrative staff, sales representatives (9%), the rest hold other positions. Most (78%) of the companies were indicated as private businesses, 13% were from abroad and the rest were non - profit organizations.
Survey (as responses to e. questionnaire) was conducted on 21 – 24 of March, 2020.
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