Every one of us is worried about the current pandemic situation that nobody knows how long is going to affect us. Sadly its impact is devastating both from a financial perspective (economy is suppressed or has even stopped in some areas) and from a social point of view (self-isolation, remote work). Let’s count that during this summer, the spread of COVID-19 will be reduced and it won’t continue with a double force in autumn. And hopefully, a vaccine will be ready soon.
Having read a brilliant report on Board of Innovation by Nick De Mey and Philippe De Ridder, I decided to move my perspective from “here and now” to “post-pandemic” view, so as to check if it is going to be far different than the world we are familiar with. Up to this time (and probably later as well), the economy has changed due to new government regulations and customer habits acquired during the pandemic.
By this, I mostly mean reduced contact and interactions with strangers, tighter travel and hygiene restrictions as well as a different social awareness. On the other hand, we may expect more possibilities to work remotely, better and well-developed e-commerce, logistics and e-health services. Nevertheless, the price may be high – just to mention mass unemployment, closed borders, and the rise of xenophobia along with populism.
So what shifts can we expect?
- Higher need for (remote) therapy and coaching
Many of us will face serious life difficulties such as feeling isolated, having fear of losing a job, being confronted with sickness, or having hard times in relationships. Professional, affordable, and accessible help will be of high value.
- Packaging redesign and contact-free delivery
We are more careful about what and how we buy… Regardless if these are groceries or luxury goods we want to make sure that along with a new product we will not bring a virus to our homes. This makes companies think about safe packages and contactless delivery systems. Also, companies that did not deliver products will have to do so in order to survive.
- Tourism – local or country travels/ holidays over going abroad
As tourism is one of the most affected branches of the economy it’s not a surprise that in order to survive it needs to change its approach. People will tend to travel locally cross their country, instead of facing difficulties with borders crossing or risking a quarantine.
- Work from home – new setups and regulations
Becoming a common habit will require dedicated devices (audio/video setups, office machines, separating and securing the workplace from home activities and other inhabitants. Moreover, insurance policies will need to be adjusted to new conditions.
- More tension – digital legal work
Some of us are or are going to operate in a “survival mode” due to the crisis. In this view, lawyers will have more work taking part in legal battles between single people or companies. Doing so will require a digital approach and work automatization to deal with upcoming tasks.
- Higher demand for courses and training
Because of the growing unemployment rate, ex-workers will need to gain new skills and qualifications, so as to switch from the businesses that are struggling with difficulties (switching to competitors won’t help as they are facing the same problems).
Here I must mention the booming popularity of streaming services both for entertainment and professional use as well as online games. Although these were gaining more users over the last years, they face a real Gold Rush now, which they are trying to use at their advance becoming and staying more popular than ever before.
We know that the future may choose not the path that we are predicting it to take. However, the above-mentioned changes are quite likely to happen as we can already observe some of them going. Nevertheless, their seriousness is dependent on how long the pandemic and crisis are going to stay with us.
At the end of this text, I would like to invite you for a discussion on how the future world will be. What are your predictions or what have you noticed in terms of social and economic changes? How does it affect your company and the way it works?
Let’s keep in touch and arrange a virtual coffee to consider how digitalization can help to go through these uncertain times.