Image credits: Sophia Jones
News Article

Back to the Office After COVID-19

By Alessa Flores | Mon, 05/04/2020 - 13:07

The Jornada Nacional de Sana Distancia (National Social-Distancing Program) will come to an end on May 30, which is why authorities announced yesterday that they will launch a plan to return to activities. 

Graciela Márquez Colín, Minister of Economy, announced that together with other dependencies, protocols to reactivate activities will be announced for when the quarantine is over. The minister also said that as of May 3, the Ministry of Economy had received 830,000 credit requests for the government’s 1 million MX$25,000 (US$1,030) microcredit lines, of which 70 percent have been from women and 30 from men. Meanwhile, 62 percent of the requests came from businesses, 19 percent from workshops and factories and 19 percent from services providers. The states with the highest number of credit requests are Baja California Sur, Colima and Queretaro.

A microcredit is a small loan offered to a person with limited resources who does not have an endorsement or guarantee of repayment. Among the advantages of microcredits is the ease in their approval, since their small amount do not usually call for endorsement. They are also characterized by being fast and useful solutions in times of great need. Meanwhile, their disadvantages are usually characterized by higher interest rates and fees compared to a conventional loan, which many times render people not credit-worthy. However, the microcredits announced by President López Obrador will be offered through Banorte, Banco Azteca and Santander, which will not charge commissions for the operation and will grant an annual interest rate of 6.5 percent.

Although credits and other support systems have been sought to lessen the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, there are other factors to evaluate before returning to daily life. Reintroduction to office life could become a problem if it is not well planned, according to Márquez.

According to the Institute for Public Relations, it is estimated that only 10 percent of CEOs have made extensive planning for their return, including the use of resources, spaces and other protocols that are vital to keeping infection-free workspaces. Therefore, CEOs are being encouraged to consider the following factors: the number of employees returning, the possibility of still working remotely, rethinking the office physical set up, rebuilding workplace morale, reviewing infrastructure needs, maintaining regular communication and embedding recent learnings.

Likewise, the Ministry of Health has highlighted the importance of maintaining a sanitary protocol where people who return to offices have their temperature checked and are monitored to detect any symptoms. Moreover, it is suggested that companies formulate a plan tailored to their needs to guarantee a successful transition.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
INEGI, Institute for Public Relations, Minister of Economy
Photo by:   Sophia Jones
Alessa Flores Alessa Flores Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst