Exit "Lockdown" straight into a recession, that is a common view.
But why invest in automation when cash is tight. Simple competitive pressure drives the need to automate.
Customers appreciate customer service. They make buying decisions by interacting with staff. Nobody is impressed by back office activity. It is an expectation that it works. Simple errors can damage reputations very quickly.
Businesses need staff working to help customers, not doing repetitive administration tasks.