How Work Models Shape the Beauty Industry

Last updated on: 2023


With society transitioning back to a state of relative normalcy, it’s tempting to view the pandemic as a thing of the past. But that’s not exactly the case. On January 30, 2023, the World Health Organization voted to uphold COVID-19’s status as a public health emergency of international concern due to a recent surge in coronavirus deaths around the world. “As we enter the fourth year of the pandemic, there is no doubt we are in a far better situation now than we were a year ago, when the omicron wave was at its peak,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “But since the beginning of December, weekly reported deaths have been rising.” For those who are actively infected or know someone suffering from the virus, the everyday effects of COVID-19 are crushingly obvious. For many of us, however, the pandemic’s impact on the way we live and our work models isn’t something we pause to consider on the regular.

Here’s how work models shape the beauty industry!

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

Perhaps one of the biggest ways the pandemic continues to affect the beauty industry and those who work in it is the widespread normalization of working remotely. According to Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), approximately 70% of firms “from tiny companies to massive multinationals” have implemented hybrid working arrangements in recent years. Some companies allow workers to be completely remote, while many others encourage their employees to divide their time between home and the office. 

Opinions vary on whether this new way of working helps or hurts productivity. Research from the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) found that “small meetings can be as efficient by video call as in person,” but maintained that “in-person meetings are typically easier for communicating by visual cues and gestures.” On the other hand, nearly half of research survey respondents “reported large meetings of 10 or more people were worse by video call.” 

But let’s talk makeup! Some comparisons boil down to personal preference, but other metrics are less subjective. For example: from a revenue standpoint, working from home has had a fascinating effect on cosmetics sales. “Women working from home have virtually eliminated makeup from their routines,” an article from Beauty Business Journal notes. And while foregoing the foundation and staying in sweatpants all day is a huge relief for most of us, Jeffries analyst Stephanie Wissink warned investors that this cultural shift “could have a long-lasting impact on the sale of cosmetics and beauty products.” Come to think of it, ever since WFH became the norm, I haven’t had to replace my products as frequently. Anyone else?

While WFH and hybrid work models have caused women to wear less makeup, the popularity of online shopping has also skyrocketed since 2020. Does the increase in e-commerce across the industry balance out all the bare-faced babes working from home these days? Looking at the numbers, it seems very possible. After an 8% decrease in 2020, the beauty world bounced back, with 2021 marking “the best year ever for cosmetics,” according to Statista. Revenue continued to rise in 2022, with the industry “expected to reach $131 billion in global sales by 2026, up from $72 billion in 2020.” It looks like us WFH ladies won’t be sinking the ship anytime soon.

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