The impact of the global pandemic, COVID-19, has come to consume all our thoughts, our plans, and our jobs. It has been stressful for many. Now that we have shifted to practicing social distancing, rigorously washing our hands, and interacting with others in new ways, it has us thinking, how will things change once we can go back to the office?
Staying at Home
For many, being able to work from home has been a blessing in disguise. Moms and dads can connect their kids on a more profound level, and the pets are loving all the attention. While routines may be different, everyone has adjusted in ways that are most suited for them.
With everyone doing their part to stay at home to flatten the curve, the peak of this virus is upon us.
Stay at home orders must extend through the middle of May, and for now, we will continue working in our pajamas, and ponder when we might cross the threshold of the office door again and reunite with our work families.
Back in the Office
Many of us wonder what awaits as we transition back to office life and how our daily lives will evolve again. Of course, it means the freedom to roll out of bed straight to your workspace disappears. For the first time in months, it means daily showers, dressing in office attire, and back to weekly hours lost to commutes. It means we must have the dexterity to pivot once again because we won’t be going back to business as usual.
Yes, the virus will have a longer-lasting impact on our work world. “Our vigilance around things like disinfecting surfaces that’s probably going to continue,” says Kate White, a behavioral scientist at the University of British Columbia and Discover Magazine. The ways we manage our office workspace hygiene will become more rigorous and thoughtful. Fears will change how we welcome co-works, how we store our lunches, make us mindful of touching door hands, and disinfecting shared equipment like printers will become commonplace. Handshakes and hugs will be a greeting of the past, making way for head nods and friendly waves.
Virtual meeting software subscriptions are booming. More and more individuals are finding it necessary to become fluent in applications like Zoom and GoToMeeting. With the need for in-person engagement diminishing, there is no doubt the business landscape will be forever changed. A percentage of businesses will likely convert parts or entire operations to a work-from-home business model. What that ultimately looks like, we’ll have to wait and see.
How We Consume
Our desire to consume and education using technology is exploding exponentially. There will little turning back from this definitive shift. It will be the new “normal” when communicating with coworkers, students, or family members. Even though the technology was present before the pandemic struck, it has taken on a new level of necessity for users worldwide, according to ZDNet. Companies must sell their products and services online, Zoom is the modern classroom, friends have virtual happy hours, and game night is play viewing a 15″ screen.
The shift in the way we consume will most likely continue once the pandemic is over. With technology only getting smarter, it could be a wise approach for companies to shift business online for both a physical and virtual presence.
As we’ve known for the past couple of years, online shopping continues to become the preferred method due to convenience. Consumers don’t have to visit the store, which for many, will continue to be the preferred method for all types of shopping they may do.
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