Article by Tony Russell

ALLCLEAN Managing Director

Where have all the people gone?

From my little patch of earth, I have pondered the question, where have all the people gone?

If I cast my mind back to pre-pandemic days, I am reminded of the business culture around the world, it was a race to the bottom, cheapest prices, cheapest fastest service, a gluttony of choices and a lot of competition for little or miniscule margins, yet people were plentiful.

Lockdowns affected businesses, many local businesses struggled and folded, many companies lost contracts both here and international, contracts were cancelled overseas as they were in continuous lockdowns or in the grip of covid, how or why would they need a service or a product from Australia?

Tourism ground to a halt, there were many people unemployed or under employed!

Shouldn’t employers have the choice of people today?

So, I ask again, where have all the people gone?

We have learned how to do electronic life, E-learning, E-meetings, E-health, working from home and the list was long but lonely.

These same technologies create wonders, detecting human behaviour, advanced logical thinking, extensive data records, robotic surgeries.

Yet, the question is still the same, where are all the people?, there should be at least the same amount of people, perhaps doing business a little differently?

Unlikely heroes emerged, nurses, doctors, paramedics, police, retail workers, even cleaners had become heralded frontline workers, working in the face of covid, keeping our tumultuous times bearable and somewhat organised! Where have these people gone?

We all remember the toilet paper crisis, where the cost just couldn’t be taken into account, just lock in a supply line, that was the priority, hoarding of this simple product made headlines, and this was the beginning of ongoing interruptions to supply lines across the world that are still felt into the third year.

A lot of us didn’t think too much about where some things were made, they were cheap and plentiful, not much thinking required really?

Now, supply lines are very considered, what is the origin, where are the raw materials generated from? Are the workers paid appropriately, are the practices sustainable? And way down the list is price.

Has business culture changed? are we climbing our way out of the decline that was the race to the bottom?

Resources, infrastructure, road works, civil works, new builds, expansions, our local projects are going gangbusters! Is this where all the people are? Are they doing FIFO up north? Are they working on the new roads and infrastructure projects?

Every sector of every business is struggling to find people, shortages are everywhere, I can’t even imagine trying to find specialist people? My doctor’s surgery pre pandemic had seven doctors, now there is two or three? Where did they all go?

Are we still operating in the mindset of gluttony and plentiful in a continued race to the bottom?

Or are we trying to reach a new normal? Quality over quantity as a consumer?

How do you achieve quality when there are not enough people? Is the key to concentrate on a smaller market?, utilize and train existing people? How do we do smaller when all we know is plentiful and competition?

Did I miss the memo?

Are we employing any person to fill the position and then teaching the role?

Can we achieve quality this way? Do we want to achieve quality though, or do we prefer plentiful?

Or are we comfortable staying in the race to the bottom again?

Regardless of quality or quantity, I am still somewhat puzzled, where have all the people gone?


About the writer:

As the Managing Director of ALLCLEAN, Tony has 45 years of Industry experience, specializing in public speaking, decision making, tendering, and financial management. Tony is known for being the “gentleman of the industry” and is highly thought of for his good judgment, integrity, honesty, and genuine interest in his staff, their families and our clients.