How deeply the covid-19 pandemic has impacted life and society is evidenced by the endless stream of debates, studies, discussions and writings pouring out regularly on the subject. Not surprisingly, the possible changes in human behaviour the pandemic might have brought about did come up again at a recent webinar in Dhaka. Leading corporate house representatives, leaders of local and international professional platforms and rights bodies cast the entire issue in a more positive light than has been the case so far.
At a time when experts on social and economic issues have been busy depicting a doomsday scenario of the post-pandemic world, when faced with the dark prospects of loss of jobs and income opportunities for millions to worry about their and their children's future, rekindling the spirit is a departure from the monotonous refrain.
It is indeed refreshing and reassuring to learn from the webinar that there is, after all, hope as the corporate leaders themselves consider employees and workers as an asset rather than a liability and that the idea of shedding jobs is counterproductive and sets a bad precedence. What should inject a dose of renewed faith in the people's mind and stimulate them on to a positive gear to rebuild their lives is the conviction expressed by the market leaders that the pandemic situation has taught us to become not self-serving, but more collaborative and empathetic.
As the pandemic has forced a certain reorientation of human relations, it has also been acting as a catalyst for changing the traditional outlook and methodology of business in that the information technology (IT) has made inroads into every aspect of it. To avoid physical contact in the public domain, people are looking more and more for the kinds of service that can be operated remotely through digital technology.
When under the constant bombardment from naysayers, the people were gasping for a breath of fresh air, such positive ideas from eminent quarters should definitely help dispel the miasma of distrust and suspicion that had been created all around.
Come as they did from no-nonsense members of the business as well as professional communities, these good words were not mere homilies and as such should have our policymakers at every level take into account an inner strength of our people to bounce back.
There could not be a better time to disseminate such words of hope and inspiration for not only the breadwinner in every family but also for the business and the economy as a whole. Hopefully, it would help some employers in the trading, service, financial as well as manufacturing sectors to take more judicious decisions, who, out of sheer anxiety and fear about the uncertain future, were thinking of downsizing their operations.
When contrary to the usual polemical parlance that the general audience is familiar with, who's who in business, professional leaders and rights protagonists are at one with one another on how to run business and life more productively under the pandemic and post-pandemic conditions, both politics in power and that outside of it should listen.
Policy-makers should create more space for such people not only in business but in every sphere of life who can guide people towards productive, not counterproductive, action or behaviour.