COVID-19: The End of the Beginning | Cascade Insights

COVID-19: The End of the Beginning

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Authored byPhilippe Boutros
Sean Campbell
Authored bySean Campbell

Dark clouds remain, with some increase in business activity.

We first fielded a survey on the business impact of COVID-19 on March 18-20. The same week that San Francisco issued a shelter-in-place order.

At that time, the business environment looked pretty grim. 79.8% of respondents reported some degree of disruption of business activities.

We fielded the survey again April 15-18, just a few weeks later. While roughly half of the respondents still think their work is moderately impacted or disrupted, we see sporadic signs of improvement.



Company Size and Industry Insights

Our original study showed that large and small businesses equally felt the impact of COVID-19. Three weeks later, participants report a slight increase in business activity, regardless of company size.

A higher proportion of respondents in each industry reported that business activity is accelerating. The Education, Tech, and Telecom sectors all saw improvement in business activity. Other areas, such as Professional Services, Retail, CPG, and Healthcare, stayed the same or worsened.

Roles and Functions

A jaw-dropping 38.5% of marketers report that their workload has increased as a result of COVID-19, up from 11.5% in late March.

Product, Operations, and Sales all report an increase in business disruption. 90% of Sales respondents say coronavirus has disrupted sales activity, up from 83% in late March.

Adaptation Has Begun

The results of this survey suggest that the economy is adapting. The level of adaptation varies across sectors and business roles. In sum, the future is already here; it’s just not equally distributed.

Overall, our findings show some positive results. Subsequent waves of the survey will hopefully reveal more of the same as the world continues to adapt to COVID-19.

If you have any questions on this research or would like to receive updates, feel free to reach out to us at

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