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Lessons from a Pandemic

Not where we were thinking we would be after the first quarter of 2020; the steam engine that came barreling into 2020 is starting to slow. On the bright side, a freight train carries tremendous momentum and requires a lot of distance to completely stop. There are many things to remain optimistic about and we will continue to do just that. The enormous momentum we came in with is allowing our industry to continue to support jobs and provide security during a time with many unknowns; we should all be thankful for this.

For years companies fought the age of technology, but there is no fighting it anymore. We’d heard common concerns such as remote working couldn’t be a viable option and for numerous reasons. Over the last two months, our experience showed how many of our own concerns were invalid. Regardless, here we are, and we’re making changes that will impact the future working environment. What we see and hear is that companies across industries are realizing efficiency gains, and those will influence how they return after the storm settles.

In March, I heard a story about a restaurant owner here in Charlotte who cut staff 90 percent while maintaining roughly 40-50 percent of their revenue with take-out only. This example doesn’t consider fixed expense, yet clearly demonstrates they’re getting more out of their variable labor expense. In other words, they are more productive. Think about an architecture firm leasing office space in the highest rental areas in the world; are they going to rush to lease more space? I highly doubt it. Lowering fixed expenses like rent contributes directly to a business’s bottom line, we are all going to take advantage of this. Keep in mind, this forced experiment of remote working will change the working environment of the future towards greater efficiency. GDP might not be growing currently, but our productivity is.

Next up, Millennial mindset to highlight another top Instagram page in our industry. #Woontechglass is one of my favorites to scroll through. An outstanding mix, ranging from decorative glass projects, to frameless shower doors, to insight on their company culture and behind the scenes of how they’re doing what they do. They are one company we can all try and emulate, and be sure to follow them.


Pete deGorter headshot

Pete de Gorter

Pete de Gorter is vice president of DeGorter Inc. He can be reached at