4 Areas Where the Business World Is Bouncing Back

When COVID-19 struck, much of the business world ground to a halt. Protecting oneself and one’s employees against an unknown virus meant shuttering offices and restaurants, suspending travel, and generally hunkering down.

Yet a world economy can’t stay locked in a freeze frame forever. As the world comes to terms with a persistent pandemic, companies of all sizes are looking for ways to get back to business. 

1. Remote Work

Domestic talent shortages are making a return to business as usual a challenge for some companies. So they’re searching for creative solutions.

Hiring international employees is becoming easier to do as technology makes remote work increasingly feasible. If a company can’t find enough workers within their domestic borders, it’s time to scout beyond them.

Businesses seeking employees with certain expertise can narrow their search by finding countries with deep candidate pools. It helps to know what industries are booming elsewhere in the world, such as customer service in Mexico or engineering in Iran. Those industries are supplying the work experience that makes talent ripe for recruitment.

Once companies identify the types of skills and expertise they can glean from those industries, they should look closer. They can use international hiring guides to compare specifics about countries they may want to recruit from. It just makes sense to pluck employees from countries that best address their skills gaps and align well with their workplace practices.

2. Travel and Tourism

After two years of people largely staying home, there is a tremendous pent-up demand for travel. Wanderlusting individuals everywhere are dusting off their passports and credit card rewards. They are ready to board trains, planes, and automobiles for a long overdue and much-needed change of scenery.

Of course, the travel and tourism industry was among the most devastated because of the pandemic. So it’s reassuring to see it bouncing back in a big way. And the rebound is about much more than the return of overbooked flights and crowded tourist attractions.

This industry touches everything from restaurants, bars, hotels, cruise lines, and casinos to travel agencies, airlines, and car rental companies. It ushers in growth in airplane, boat, and auto manufacturing. It fuels growth in technology supporting everything from air control and navigation to foreign translation, home share, and rideshare apps. Then there are those tourist destinations, which need to be preserved, maintained, and — in some cases — constructed. All these subsets within the travel and tourism industry make it the comeback contender of the year.

3. Renewable Energy and Green Technology

Wildfires, extreme temperatures, rising sea levels, and devastating weather events have exposed the global ramifications of climate change. Going green is no longer a long-term objective. Virtually every business needs to be addressing it right now, and that has made it a booming industry.

Moreover, it’s not just a first-world issue. For developing countries, renewable energy may provide a path to independence from the grip of wealthy oil-producing countries. Not only can they gain freedom from that hold but enjoy the accompanying economic growth potential as well.

According to the International Energy Agency, renewable energy sources will produce 95% of the world’s power capacity by 2026. Countries of all shapes and sizes are developing efforts to reach carbon emissions goals.

Yet in the words of Kermit the Frog, it isn’t easy being green. Developing renewable energy and green technology takes a significant amount of time, money, and human resources. It requires employees with a range of experience in research and development, manufacturing, engineering, supply chain management, sales, and marketing.

The rise of green energy and technology is a healthy move for the planet, to be sure. If the necessary expertise can be brought to bear, it will also become a long-term engine of economic growth.

4. Manufacturing

China and the U.S. rank first and second, respectively, in global manufacturing output. Manufacturing is beginning to rise slightly in the United States. However, it’s booming in other parts of the world, and not just China.

In East Asian and South Asian countries, production is forging full-steam ahead following pandemic shutdowns. Throughout the European Union, manufacturing is in full force to respond to resurgent consumer demand.

Companies have long outsourced production to other countries. Lower rates for unskilled and skilled labor have always offered a way to keep costs down and profits high. Plus, it keeps the buyers of those companies’ products happier by allowing them to pay lower prices.

There have been disruptions to this model given ongoing problems with the global supply chain, which don’t appear to be going away. Many manufacturers are addressing those weak links by pulling their chains from global to regional. This enables them to take advantage of the lower transportation costs and increased reliability within these shorter supply chains.

The rising tide of nationalism around the world has created a strange juxtaposition in a global economy. The world is more closely connected through technology than ever. In industries where remote work is possible, it’s good business for companies to seize opportunities to globalize their workforce.

In other industries, however, a local or regional focus makes more sense. The hospitality industry is inescapably local, while manufacturers are embracing the wisdom of regional supply chains. As the business world strives to regain its footing, each industry will have to choose its own best horizon.




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