Business futures in a pandemic world

Explore our COVID-19 Business Impact Dashboard

Expert insights and fresh thinking on how the pandemic might impact the future of work, cities, supply chains, business strategy, society, policymaking, the economy, and specific industries.

Click on a topic to skip straight to the insights.

COVID and work

After many were forced to pivot to remote work, what now for the future of the office? Will the hybrid office protocol prevail? Will workers desiring greater flexibility prevail over organisations pressing for a return to the office?


Decrease in the share of collaboration time of Microsoft employees during mandated remote work

Source: Microsoft


Workers new to remote work in the pandemic say it has made balancing their work and personal lives easier

Source: Pew Research Center

2 in 3

Organisational leaders say their company is considering redesigning office space for hybrid work

Source: Edelman Data and Microsoft


Workers believe their company should be doing more to protect the mental health of employees

Source: Oracle and Workplace Intelligence

More on COVID and work

Sandra and Kai on an illustrated background
Hybrid office fashion

This week: what should you wear to work: the end of suit and heels and more hybrid office fashion.

COVID and the economy

The world economy irrevocably changed in a few short weeks when the pandemic hit. What will the new economic order bring? What can be repaired and what rules should be left to history? What are the innovative solutions for a dynamic and uncertain economic future?

More on COVID and the economy

Hear how the pandemic is shaping the future of business

Our limited podcast series, Corona Business Insights, includes short audio insights on how COVID-19 is changing the future of business.

Join us as we discuss productivity, telehealth, economic forecasting, the business of vaccines, changing cities and other relevant topics.

COVID and supply chains

The pandemic shook up the world’s supply chains. Will organisations continue to build resilience into their supply networks? What planning strategies will best cope with future freight shocks and natural disasters?

9 in 10

Companies that intend to further regionalise their supply chain

Source: McKinsey


Australian businesses experiencing supply chain disruptions

Source: ABS via Business Insider


Year-to-year increase in the average price of a 40-foot shipping container

Source: Freightos


Estimated cost of the chip shortage on the US economy in 2021

Source: CBS News

COVID and cities

While the impact on our homes was swift we are still learning how the pandemic will redesign cities. If business districts are the past and remote work the future, how will urban environments and public transport adapt? Will less commuting time create more space for other activities?


Share of COVID-19 infections reported in urban settings

Source: UN via The Conversation


Quarterly net loss of people from capital cities to regions

Source: ABS


People are walking more now than before the pandemic

Source: NSW DPIE

Nudging our way through the pandemic

Are mandates needed to counter vaccine resistance? We asked Nobel Laureate and renowned author Professor Richard H. Thaler his thoughts on nudging and effective policy responses to COVID-19.

COVID and strategy

Organisational strategic plans could not have accounted for the scale and impact of COVID-19. But with the wisdom of experience, how will organisations adapt their long-term planning in a transformed global marketplace?


Investment in R&D from largest corporate R&D
spenders worldwide

Source: Global Innovation Index


2021 year-on-year increase in worldwide venture capital funding

Source: CB Insights


Companies that plan on redesigning office spaces to incentivise employee return

Source: Mercer

COVID and policy

The pandemic necessitated creative responses to manage an all-consuming threat. Which strategies have proven effective and what lessons can we apply to future challenges? Where do good ideas flourish and how can our thinking adapt to the challenges still to come?


People falling out of the global middle class and into poverty in 2020

Source: Pew Research Center


Money pumped into the economy by central banks in response to the pandemic

Source: Global QE Tracker

More on COVID and policy

The future of geopolitics

This week: the future of geopolitics. From Australia’s place in Asia to the war in Europe, we discuss new ways of thinking, with Professor Marc Stears.

Post-pandemic powerhouse: China is moving on

Four China experts – a businessman, an academic, a diplomat and an economist – walk us through China’s post pandemic story. Is this the start of the Asian Century and how will the world be reshaped by China’s mass strength?

COVID and industries

All sectors are not equal in the force of the pandemic. What industries will flourish and which will flounder? What will be the new jobs, trades and occupations and how will corporations best navigate the transition?


Australians planning on an international trips for leisure in 2022

Source: Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies


Decrease in 2021 movie releases compared to 2019 in the US and Canada

Source: Box Office Mojo via Statista


Projected decrease in Australian construction industry revenues for 21-22

Source: IBISWorld


Retail workers who felt their job security had decreased as a result of the pandemic

Source: University of Sydney

More on COVID and industries

COVID and society

The shared threat forced a new understanding of community responsibility, and there were new rules of engagement. How has the pandemic shifted our attitudes and behaviours? What will this new understanding mean to our relationships and social connections into the future? What will our expectations be of government and of each other?


Change in global energy-related CO2 emissions largely due to increased coal usage

Source: IEA


Worldwide prevalence of anxiety and depression in wake of the pandemic

Source: WHO

More on COVID and society

The way the world works has changed

Things you thought you knew like automation will make our work easier, music is something to listen to, large companies can’t innovate, or data is the new oil are no longer true. Hosts Sandra Peter and Kai Riemer set out to unlearn old wisdoms and discover new ones on The Unlearn Project, a new podcast from Sydney Business Insights.