The financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are often compared to the state of the economy in 2008, also known as the Great Recession when there were massive lay-offs due to years of deeply rooted weak spots in the economy. That is not what we have encountered in 2020. Our economy has been strong up until COVID-19 entered the picture. Consumers, businesses and lenders are much better positioned to withstand the blows and bounce back.
Back in 2008, Employees were being completely laid-off. Jobs were being eliminated. Today employers are putting their employees on "furlough". Furlough is defined as a leave of absence. So this is more a temporary arrangement. So, what are employees and employers doing to help cope with the COVID - 19 pandemic?
Employers are doing more for their people get through this trying time. I have read that many small businesses such as restaurants can't afford to have their employees on payroll, so they are compensating them in other ways such as offering their employees and their families free meals to help offset the burden of food expenses. Many large corporations’ executives are sacrificing their pay by taking 20% - 30% pay cut. Just the other day, Disney announced that Bob Iger was forgoing all his salary. Employers are getting creative and realize now more than ever that the Employees are part of their family. They are nothing without their employees.
For the employees that remain in the workforce currently it is more and more difficult to lead your team during this trying time. Thankfully we have the technology in place to help us. Microsoft is offering six months free of Microsoft Teams.
It is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines persistent workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration. Other communication tools out there like SAP Qualtrics. They are offering a free COVID-19 Solutions.
It allows companies to survey their employees to make sure they have what they need for remote work, see how supported they feel and what types of additional resources they may need. Employers need to be even more sensitive to their employees currently. Checking in with them personally on a weekly basis will help.
Those that have been affected by being put on furlough don't get discouraged. Know that this is a temporary situation and your employer wants you to start right back up where you left off when you get back. With the $2 Trillion Economic Rescue plan there is some relief. It will aid tens of millions of American households affected by the coronavirus. It includes help with stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and more. Here is a great article that may help. I also strongly suggest you reach out to your Accountant for additional resources and guidance.
Remember, stay positive and keep your same routine (get up in the morning and be ready to go and take on your day). Do something for you. Meditate, garden, cook, bake, write, draw, find your pleasure. I have been told that I am a good listener so if you need someone to talk to or need any additional resources to deal with this pandemic, please reach out to me. You know where you can find me. We are all in this together!
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, Look for the helpers. You always find people who are helping." - Mr. Rogers
Margherita C. Amplo
President, MCA Consultants