Covid-19 related effects on client communication in management consulting at a professional service firm in Germany

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Sahin, Hüseyin
Issue Date
Dublin Business School
Since its initial discovery in Wuhan in December 2019, the Covid-19 virus has heavily affected many people's lives. The consulting profession, which traditionally relies on communication between consultants and clients, suddenly had to deal with the fact that physical contact needed to be avoided. This led to many consultancies adopting other ways of collaboration, such as teleworking. Since good communication is arguably one of the most crucial success factors in consulting, the question arises to what extent this new working environment influences the communication between consultants and clients. To answer this question, 56 consultants from a professional services firm were surveyed on their teleworking experience in respect to client communication. The results show a clear shift in the use and preference of communication technologies. Furthermore, the results point to some challenges that the teleworking environment brings with it, such as establishing client relationships and understanding the client firm. However, the results also reveal that many communicative aspects have not been affected. The study shows that a large proportion of consultants perceive teleworking as a viable alternative to the traditional form of collaboration and consider many communication aspects to be unproblematic, although there are certain challenges.