Eurozone companies focus on well-being of workers and working capital in the current COVID-19 crisis while positioning for longer-term value.
It is sometimes difficult to consider the world before COVID-19. Looking back at EY’s prior Capital Confidence Barometer, just six months ago, executives in the Eurozone were facing a range of geopolitical, regulatory, trade and tariff challenges. Many, however, were choosing a proactive response. The need to transform was seen as outweighing the risks of uncertainty.
At the start of the year there were some encouraging indicators across the Eurozone. But the world today is entirely different. Economies have been put into hibernation to enable health services to cope. It is hard to imagine ever feeling more globally connected by a single crisis and determined to get through yet simultaneously feeling so helpless and isolated.
It is a similar experience for executives. Companies are now having to deal with unprecedented challenges in the midst of an ongoing human tragedy. Their emphasis is on their employees, first and foremost. They are also monitoring liquidity and working capital, as well as re-evaluating operating models. They are in survival mode.
But they are also acting. They are adapting their supply chains, accelerating automation and digital transformation. They are working in different ways as they navigate the present situation.