March 2020 Editorial – EPN Consulting Newsletter


This month I am uncertain as I wouldn’t like to talk about how the Covid-19 affected our lifestyles and routines, but it seems that any other topic wouldn’t have much sense as our professional and personal activities have been either suspended or radically changed to try and adapt to this new and unprecedented experience.

For example the events industry: in the last week I have been receiving many emails informing on the cancellation or rescheduling of professional events, conferences, fairs. I don’t have the numbers with me but I can imagine tens of million of Euros will be missing from the exhibitions fees, venues hiring, catering services, hotels booking, restaurants meals, buses/coaches hiring, car rentals, etc. One example for all, the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last February.

Another dramatic example: airways industry: since 24th March 2020 Ryanair announced to ground more than 80% of their fleet. Other companies decided to entirely suspend their operations for at least 1 month such as Brussels Airlines. This will not only put at big risk the survival of many air carriers, but in the supply chain of travelling this impossibility to fly (imposed by many countries) affects also the airports eco-systems (baggage handling companies, shops, restaurants/cafes/bars, city-airport transport links, hotels, etc.) and the business in general.

One more example: working from home/teleworking/smart working or whatever named. In principle this is a good solution to continue professional activities, services such as clients assistance and call centres, etc.. Teleworking also helps keep the brain active and the person feel useful. However, this solution can work well when the household enjoys a good Internet broadband service (high-speed ADSL or optic fibre connection) and/or a good mobile connection. When one of these two connections don’t have an acceptable Level of Service, the teleworking is very difficult or even impossible and this represents a huge hindrance to remote productivity.

Another aspect regarding teleworking is the household family situation: if the person is single or shares the flat with another adult, the teleworking can be easily setup and performed. When there are more adults or children, though, teleworking could be very difficult to perform and concentration hard to last for long.

Finally, the psychological side of it. Working from home could be enticing as it gives more freedom in time management, it avoids commuting on busy carriages or congested roads, it improves the quality of life. But, when one is obliged to stay at home and cannot get out of their house for days, cannot enjoy a fresh air breath in park,  cannot do their daily running, must queue up to buy some food and then quickly return home, well, in this case teleworking loses its appeal.

Anyway, there is a positive side of this situation: as people are locked down in their flats, air pollution and noise pollution decreased,  the frantic lifestyle we have been used to ended, we have learnt to value more our social and family ties.

The UK was initially making fun of the Italian strict measures that constrained citizens at home, then it realised this is the best way of containing the infection and finally – making a sudden U-turn, a couple of days ago wisely introduced the same measures. We must all stay at home now to go back to our usual social and professional life soon.

#StayAtHome #IoRestoACasa #QuedateEnCasa

Stefano Mainero
EPN Consulting Founder & CEO