Skip links

BCG: COVID-19 Perspectives

COVID-19 is a global societal crisis

We at BCG believe that the COVID-19 outbreak is first and foremost a societal crisis, threatening lives and the wellbeing of our global community. Society now, more than ever, needs to collaborate to protect people’s lives and health, manage midterm implications, and search for lasting solutions.

Leaders need to drive an integrated response to navigate the crisis

It is the duty of health, political, societal, and business leaders to navigate through this crisis. A complex interplay of epidemic progression, medical response, government action, sector impact, and company action is playing out. This document intends to help leaders find answers and shape opinions to navigate the crisis in their own environments. It encourages thinking across the multiple time horizons over which we see the crisis manifesting itself.

Executive Summary | COVID-19 BCG Perspectives

With several countries in restart mode, a critical priority for businesses is to think through emerging PEOPLE implications

  • Many countries are moving into restart mode with the easing of lockdown measures from early May
  • Consumers are starting to have a more optimistic outlook than two weeks ago, and are spending more time on the move
  • Clear people priorities are emerging – including ‘smart’ (more remote, lower cost) work and a more flexible workforce, but also leadership and purpose
  • As companies begin bringing (some of) their people back to work safely to meet business demand, a more flexible workforce will be required
  • Leaders must assess current capabilities and future strategic needs to define a people plan that caters to short-term crisis and long-term strategy
  • Across countries, efforts to flatten the curve and ramp-up testing continue; the impact on economy, sectors, and business persists

Globally, about 33% of COVID-19 patients have recovered and the case doubling rate has improved to 28 days

  • While many countries are planning to relax lockdown measures based on the flattening disease spread curve, they continue to step up testing
  • The testing landscape is changing rapidly and molecular testing continues to be the “gold standard;” efforts focused on improving speed
  • Economic and employment impact from lockdown of ‘non-essential’ activities during ‘Flatten’ phase becoming more evident for many countries
  • Economic forecasts deteriorating globally for 2020 while remaining stable for 2021; global rebound to pre-COVID levels not expected before end of 2021
  • Total Shareholder Return continues to rebound with only a few sectors above pre-crisis level; impact still varies widely within industries