If corona has shown us one thing, it is that nature can claim its place at any time. The virus – nature – showed its ugliest side. It shuts down economies worldwide, demands the utmost from nursing staff in all countries and forces almost all schools and companies to spread out. That impact is unseen.
The corona virus has put a lot of issues into question. That tabula rasa also offers new opportunities. Which, we asked our opinion formers.
At the same time, nature has also brought out the best in us. People made more time for their families, took the pace out of their work life, realized that those endless meetings could really be replaced with a simple call. But above all, a collective realization grew without hesitation that we cannot live without each other, that we can still enjoy simple things, and that we are stronger together.
I have read with admiration the many interviews about the healthcare sector. Every clapping of hands, every raise and appreciation is justified. But don’t entrepreneurs deserve a clapping of hands? They too – like many others – are awake about the long-term impact of this crisis. As a company, are we ‘agile’ enough to keep our ship afloat?
Entrepreneurs do not expect a clapping of hands, but they do crave clarity and certainty, in the first place for our employees for whom times are emotionally and sometimes financially difficult. I therefore hope that this crisis will make our landscape more business-friendly. That there will be a legal framework that has a protective effect. That we can switch faster in the event of a second or third wave, or the next pandemic.
Employers and employees strive for the same: to maintain our welfare state
Temporary unemployment was efficient and offered a short-term perspective. And emergency situations require emergency solutions. Doesn’t it make sense that employees returning from vacation and in quarantine should also fall under temporary unemployment? That may sound harsh, but in my view it is also a form of solidarity. Employers and employees strive for the same thing: to maintain and strengthen our welfare state for the next generations.
Companies need to be relieved of the many regulations, which are often at odds with making efficient decisions. Entrepreneurs have to set out strategic guidelines every day and strive to fulfill them properly, with sometimes limited resources. The balance between the well-being of employees and the health of the company must become more transparent. Every entrepreneur can simply explain to his people why measures are taken to maintain the cooperation in the long term. But that is too often made impossible by overly complicated legislation, which only lawyers can use.
Businesses crave support to anchor themselves locally so that capital does not flee abroad.
Businesses crave support to anchor themselves locally so capital doesn’t flee abroad, and embrace any support for local initiatives – think Winkelhier. This can be done by making those corona efforts more tax-friendly.
This crisis will linger for a long time. And it is probably not the last of its kind. It has immeasurably changed the way we work, do business and try to ensure prosperity every day.
During the lockdown, the solidarity between our employees gave me a warm feeling. It’s no fun being temporarily unemployed. It is also not easy to work from home and take care of your small children in the meantime. Everyone had their problems or limitations, but we went for it together and that gives me courage.
We must dare to extend this solidarity to our health policy and education. Respect for the weak should be central, while at the same time preparing the younger generation for such crises.
Generation Z comes knocking at the door: a generation that grew up in a highly connected world with terrorist attacks such as new warfare, with economic uncertainties and with a lot of information about ominous climate changes. Strong leadership and good, open communication must place clear positions on social coexistence on the agenda. In order to put the economy back on track and to create prosperity. And to build a just world across generations.
And finally, if Europe pursues a strong and solidary policy and coherently forms a decisive Union instead of remaining an additional legislative body, then we are much better equipped for the next global crisis.
Ingrid Ceusters is CEO of the Ceusters real estate group