Big Changes—and Great Opportunities
Greetings, everyone! As I write this message, it’s week nine of lockdown for me. I’m not sure how you’re feeling, but this stay-at-home situation is starting to weigh on me. In my opinion, it’s time for America to get back to business—safely.
Your CoolSys leadership team has been working on plans for our “restart” in compliance with the phases and restrictions of various city and state governments around the country.
Even as our nation begins to reopen, I can’t help but think that some things in America will be forever changed as a result of this pandemic. Here are a few of my thoughts on that subject:
More People in Companies All Over the World Will Be Working From Home, as jobs permit. If there is any silver lining to this global pandemic, I believe it’s the way we’ve been forced to rethink the concept of working from home. I think all employers—CoolSys included—will become a lot more flexible when it comes to teleworking. By the nature of their work, our people in the field have always been free from the confines of a desk, however, many others have spent their workdays in a cubicle or office. While I miss going out and having dinner in a restaurant and being served my favorite drink, I for sure don’t miss sitting in my office all day! And, like many others, I’m more productive! I’ll let the broader HR and leadership team handle the details, but I expect we will see more people working remotely on a permanent basis.
Commercial Real Estate Footprints Will Change. Before COVID-19, CoolSys was running out of space in our headquarters. The company has almost doubled in size since we constructed our current building, and while we had lots of extra capacity in the beginning, free space is now all gone. Before we were trying to resolve the space issue, but now we might just need to think about getting more creative in the space we have. Why spend money building cubicles and offices when we can use those funds to invest more in our people, technology, etc.?
I believe companies in all industries will be rethinking commercial real estate. I think vacancy rates will climb and rents will fall, long-term, as more and more Americans telework. Don’t worry if you’re someone who doesn’t like that arrangement; I promise that no one will be forced to work from home. I just think this will become an option for many whose jobs are a good match.
Shopping Online for Groceries Will Continue to Grow in Popularity. Going to the grocery store may become a thing of the past for many people. One side-effect of the pandemic has been the widespread growth of shopping online and either picking up groceries or having them delivered.
As shopping habits change, you may see pickup points or footprints start to evolve in the grocery world. This will create enormous opportunity for CoolSys. As the distribution channel changes, more cold storage will be required in the communities we serve, and a big rise in construction projects will lead to increased service opportunities. How we shop for food was already changing before COVID-19, and the pace of change is now accelerating.
As the world changes in dramatic ways in the wake of COVID-19, our strategy at CoolSys is to be very flexible and responsive to those changes. There is no script; this is uncharted territory for all of us. We have a talented, hard-working and creative team—and that includes every one of you—so I’m confident that, working together, we will adapt and overcome any obstacle.
Stay safe CoolSys Nation!