According to research from telecoms provider TalkTalk, 93% of businesses in Greater Manchester have diversified their products and services in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
TalkTalk’s research, released as the government ends Covid-19 related restrictions, reveals how businesses across the city-region have responded to the challenging economic conditions of the pandemic; almost three-quarters of business owners believe their organisations would not have survived the pandemic without reviewing their business models.
With offices and most retailers closed, TalkTalk’s research indicates the scale at which businesses have shifted their operations online. 75% of business owners surveyed reported they increased their digital presence in response to the pandemic, with a 33% increasing social media presence, 28% adopting a click-and-collect model, 25% launching a transactional website and 27% working virtually with clients.
Despite the economic impact of the pandemic, some 41% of Greater Manchester businesses have been able to create additional jobs as a direct consequence of having diversified operations.
The research also explore how businesses in Greater Manchester have adopted new ways of working due to the pandemic, and that they plan to continue new policies beyond the end of restrictions. TalkTalk reveals that four in five (85%) businesses in the North West plan to have a flexible working policy going forwards, as almost nine in 10 (86%) employees said they favour flexible working policies; a quarter (25%) of businesses in Greater Manchester have also introduced a hybrid working policy.
With video calls becoming the main mode of communication, a large number of North West employers are also planning to formalise Zoom or Teams calls beyond the pandemic, with 39% looking to enforce the wearing of smart work attire and another 31% banning pets from appearing on camera.
Jonathan Kini, Managing Director of TalkTalk Direct Business and Consumer, said:
The last year has undoubtedly been a challenge for businesses across Greater Manchester, with many having to digitally diversify in order to stay ahead of the curve. This has placed an even greater focus on the need for ultrafast, ultra-reliable connectivity that’s affordable.”