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76% of Italian companies report that the emergency deriving from the spread of Covid-19 had immediate negative impacts, while one in five companies expects to experience the first consequences starting in April.
For two out of three companies, the emergency will have a negative impact on the domestic business, while the effects on exports remain uncertain. Investments will be subjected to downsizing, in particular those dedicated to marketing and communication: half of the companies will reduce advertising activities.
Despite the circumstances in which it was introduced, smart working has been particularly appreciated by Italian companies: in two out of five companies, smart working practices will continue even after the emergency is over.
This is the picture outlined by the research carried out by BVA Doxa on the effects of the spread of Coronavirus and the related measures to contain the infection – on Italian companies.
The emergency deriving from the spread of Covid-19 in Italy is causing growing concern among companies, which are facing the effects of the pandemic on business and need to put in place all possible strategies to preserve economic sustainability.
FIRST CONSEQUENCES – According to most companies, the impact on the business of the spread of Covid-19 has been immediate, while one in five companies is expecting the first consequences from April. The estimated effects are equally relevant for smaller companies, with fewer than 50 employees, and larger companies with over a thousand employees.
NEGATIVE INTERNAL DEMAND, EXPORT IS STILL UNCERTAIN – The first relevant impact is on the internal demand for products and services: for 2 out of 3 companies the emergency will negatively affect the demand for products and services at a national level, while almost half (45%) believe that they will face a particularly significant drop (10%).
The demand for products and services on the international markets remains more uncertain: 34% cannot predict future scenarios, but 43% of companies already declare that they already detected negative repercussions on exports as well. In general, small entrepreneurs express the greatest concerns: 77% of small Italian businesses will experience significant decreases in domestic demand, and 56% of that across borders.
INVESTMENTS – If for a large part of the companies a significant impact on investments is expected, with cuts in particular on marketing and communication plans, one company out of four declares that it will increase its marketing activities, while 41% will make use of the momentum to maintain or increase its presence in the media.
SMART-WORKING WORKS – The spread of Covid-19 and the emergencies related to the pandemic, pushed companies to implement agile work policies, in order to comply with government provisions and to limit the contagion: 73% of Italian companies introduced smart working for a great number of people and employees. Agile working policies were introduced especially by foreign multinationals with an office in Italy: 90% are already in smart working.
Italian companies have therefore discovered that smart working works: 90% of companies express a favorable opinion in terms of efficiency and optimal management of work. But there is more than that: for two out of five companies – in particular, those active in the finance, utilities and TLC sectors – the organizational changes introduced will continue to be effective even after the emergency is over. The practice has therefore been particularly appreciated and, despite the circumstances in which it was introduced, it seems to be destined to last over time.
FUTURE PERSPECTIVES – Most companies (67%) fear that the situation will have particularly significant repercussions over a long period of time. One in three companies are more optimistic and believe that the crisis will be over in a few months.