Many organizations have found the transition to a Work-From-Home environment to be a major challenge. To some, the need to retrain their employees to serve in positions that required full digital interactions, using tools and solutions that were previously limited or out of scope has proved challenging. This transition has largely affected several departments in profound ways and causing some to have needed to completely switch their focus and strategy in the blink of an eye. The cyber and tech infrastructure folks suddenly were required to provide increased access to organization’s assets, and with that may have undergone the need to procure additional resources and/ or revamp their apparatus which is a challenge within itself. Increased capacity and utilization can also affect existing infrastructure whether it be lags, tech difficulties, availability of tech support, larger threat surfaces, cybersecurity concerns, and much more.
On the flip side of the coin, billions of people either lost their job (in the US, 12.6 million individuals were unemployed in September), were furloughed, or had to accept the added risks that their profession entailed. Individuals in particular industries were affected – it is estimated that the tourism industry alone may experience global loses of US$1.2 trillion. On top of concerns associated with job security, individuals found themselves also having to weight in the risks that their profession and activities may represent to loved ones and postpone certain goals and plans.
For organizations, a lack of operational clarity due to said environment drives increased risks and unexpected disruptions that in some cases, can lead to greater losses. At the same time, they had to contend with rapidly expanding their digital footprint to support revenues and have seen their supply chain operations plummet. Some governments (UN; IMF; Canada – Ontario, British Columbia; USA – California, New York, Texas) and organizations such as Shopify, Doordash, and Google took steps to help ease the challenges and transition of their partners. Yet, the number of unknowns that have come with these changes meant that many ended up spending additional resources in learning from trial and error with differing levels of success.