Impact of Covid pandemic on businesses in UK is worse than in Belgium, France and Germany

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Coronavirus has been more bruising for British businesses than companies in France and Germany, research suggests.

A survey of 1,500 executives from five countries found that Brazilian firms have been hit hardest by the pandemic, followed by the UK and Belgium. 

By contrast, the majority of French and German bosses said their businesses have weathered the crisis well and reported a neutral impact. 

Despite the blows dealt by Covid-19 to the global economy, a staggering 92 per cent of all the c-level executives were optimistic about post-pandemic opportunities.

Coronavirus has been more bruising for British businesses than companies in France and Germany, research suggests (the City of London, pictured, is quiet on August 26)

Coronavirus has been more bruising for British businesses than companies in France and Germany, research suggests (the City of London, pictured, is quiet on August 26)

Overhauling digital output was top of the agenda for 41 per cent of firms, as online business boomed during lockdowns.

Almost a third of respondents said they had redesigned job roles and shaken up their business models to adapt to the crisis.  

And despite fears of the pandemic hemorrhaging jobs, 88 per cent of respondents said they will be hiring new employees before December, while 75 per cent had brought in new staff during lockdown. 

The main hurdles emerging from the pandemic were reported as tight budgets and grappling with the wider economic climate. 

The majority of French and German bosses said their businesses have weathered the crisis well and reported a neutral impact. Pictured: A busy beer garden at a restaurant in Cologne

The majority of French and German bosses said their businesses have weathered the crisis well and reported a neutral impact. Pictured: A busy beer garden at a restaurant in Cologne

Matt Weston, managing director of Robert Half UK, said: ‘Commercial agility, use of new technologies, effective forward planning and risk management will remain vital to business recovery following the impact of Covid-19.

‘Businesses should determine which projects they want to prioritise over the remainder of the year and conduct a skills audit to ascertain if their current workforce is equipped with the capabilities needed to achieve their new-look goals.

‘The essential competencies needed to grow their business may have shifted during the pandemic, so they may need to redesign job roles, upskill current employees, or consider new combinations of permanent, temporary and project-based staff in order to build a smart, flexible staffing plan to power their post-lockdown recovery.’ 

The survey gathered views from around 300 executives in all five countries working at small, medium and large businesses.

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