COVID-19’s Impact on Business and Growth


As of August 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted life worldwide for nearly half a year. In the U.S., our battle rages on as states and cities fight to develop strategies that make sense for people and businesses.

With such a contagious disease, there will be no on/off switch or line to cross back to “normal.” Initial research from Accenture suggested four reopening options as we moved forward out of city- and state-wide lockdowns in early May:

  • Rapid Remission: Lockdowns serve to contain COVID-19 completely, and industries are able to normalize quickly.
  • Flattened Curve: Rate of infections slows down but doesn’t enter complete remission. Without complete remission, industries face lasting changes.
  • Cyclical Outbreaks: Infection rates differ between locations and seasons, causing lasting outbreaks. Cyclical outbreaks will cause nationwide uncertainty, prompting short- to long-term effects on economics and industry.
  • Prolonged Chaos: Lockdowns and other effects to control the virus are unsuccessful, causing complete economic sanctions and lasting changes.

Now, as we move closer to the end of 2020, it’s clear that the first two reopening scenarios are obsolete. Our economy, industries and society face cyclical outbreaks or prolonged chaos throughout the foreseeable future. The timeline for reaching remission remains unclear, and we face variables including leadership, vaccines and economic support.

While each industry faces uncertainty, how can businesses continue to operate, support employees and grow revenue? At least 57% of business leaders and entrepreneurs agree that their industries will never be the same again.

In July, our team conducted a global survey of workers across industries, including business leaders, CEOs and innovation teams. Our insights include a cross-section of valuable perspectives about working throughout the pandemic and adjusting to new business development initiatives.

We’re happy to share our findings below, which are designed to help you steer your company during this time. Though we face difficult decisions and unpredictability, our data uncovers some of the opportunities that can help your business continue to grow.

Think of this time as an opportunity for experimentation. The metrics that existed before business shutdowns don’t exist in this space, so failure doesn’t have to be an option.

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