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The New Essentials

For those of us in self-quarantine during this pandemic, we are learning who really are essential personnel in a true crisis.

For those of us in self-quarantine during this pandemic, we are learning a lot about ourselves, our families, and the shopping habits of our neighbors (there is toilet paper for all — please stop hoarding it). We are also learning who really are essential personnel in a true crisis.

The doctors, nurses, and health professionals on the frontline are clearly the all-stars here, but no one is surprised at that. The ones that get missed are the ones like my son, who goes off to his part-time gig at Shop Rite to unload trucks and make sure people can get what they need every day. That was an “Essential” I hadn’t considered prior to this — grocery store employees. Add to this the truckers who make the deliveries, the warehouse people who pack the trucks — all who cannot stay at home and who put themselves at risk to make sure we have what we need.

More and more everyday services, many that were taken for granted before COVID-19, are getting a spotlight shone on them, reflecting their true value as Essentials. This includes residential and commercial AV integrators.

On the commercial side, the need for a robust enterprise network as the majority of the workforce moves to remote working has never been greater, along with tech to do it properly. For colleges, those same technologies used in distance learning are keeping higher ed in business.

As far as the residential side goes, all those corporate video chats have to land somewhere — the home network. More taxed than ever — and more crucial than ever — these networks are the self-isolated’s link to the outside world, as well as all their streaming AV services. Let’s not discount the importance of AV at this time either — whether it is seen as a distraction, a link to news and vital information, or provider of a moment’s sanity in a decidedly unsane time, it is indeed essential.

And so is the professional who creates and services those networks; who makes sure it all keeps working; who enhances the home to make staying in for an extended period of time easier. The professional who can’t stay at home when clients call, as these things are no longer luxuries, but necessities.

The coronavirus has put all of us in unchartered waters, and times will be challenging for all businesses, even essential ones. Fortunately, the industry has many resources, including CEDIA and buying groups such as HTSA, Azione Unlimited, and ProSource, that can provide helpful information and best practices. We here at Residential Systems will do the same, and I’m certain all the publications that cover this industry will join us.

Still, once we make it through to the other side, I am sure your clients will remember what you did for them during the hard times, and that will go a long way toward solidifying your business.