Right now, our lives circle around statistics and predictions. Our brains are a mush of contagion percentages, logarithmic graphs, and mortality rates. As life in confinement becomes second nature, it’s time to reimagine life and work post COVID-19.
While we long for many aspects of our face-to-face lives, we’re also growing accustomed to digital alternatives. So, what will the world look like once we’re allowed back into it?
For one, the digital acceleration will remain. Opportunities will also open up to re-prioritize our work-life balance and hygiene measures. But the changes will most likely bleed further into the fabric of society.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Rethinking workspaces
COVID-19 has brought with it many widespread challenges like shifting to telecommuting. What once seemed like a daunting task turned into reality overnight. Employees everywhere are now working from home with VPN accesses and company-issued equipment.
While studies have shown people can be more creative and productive at home, many still feared employee output would plummet.
But, now that the pandemic has forced everyone into giving telecommuting a chance, working from home is the new normal.
Rotating office staff and hot desks are gaining worldwide acceptance. And soon, offices may turn from a place of “work” to a place for networking and collaboration.
2. Heightened socioeconomic awareness
As cities and entire countries shut down, indispensable jobs and industries became evident. We now know exactly which goods and services we can’t live without.
At the same time, we’ve been able to take stock of who has access to healthcare, online education, and food. Now, it’s evident that those fulfilling essential roles are often the most vulnerable. Moving forward, we can better protect farmers, cleaning staff, transport technicians, etc.
This is a great chance to push for a more inclusive society. With this new precedent, we can revisit current legislation to better serve those at risk.
3. Dismantling the productivity hoax
Until 2020, hustle culture ruled the world. At the beginning, most media promoted productivity hacks and free courses. But, confinement has brought to light the need to care for our mental health.
Yes, being a diligent worker is still a good thing. But so is spending time with your family or doing some exercise. This is something we knew before but hadn’t grasped in such a visceral way.
Being trapped indoors takes a toll on our bodies. There’s even physiological reasons behind why video chats exhaust us. Albeit stressful, this experience is teaching us to respect our mental bandwidths.
Now, when we ease back into our old routines, we will be able to reset our boundaries.
4. A push for solidarity
From clapping to buying groceries for the elderly, the Internet is being flooded with positive content. People from all walks of life, nationalities, and races are working towards the same goal.
The best part is, we are all spectators of our own good will. Our eyes are once again growing accustomed to noticing when someone is in need. As a society, we are relearning to do the right thing often.
It is up to us to keep up with this rise in solidarity even when our cities reopen.
5. The new corporation
In the past decade, customers have been holding companies to higher standards. With oversaturated markets, corporate social responsibility could make or break a brand.
That said, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted many ongoing issues that need addressing. For many corporations, this is a great opportunity to do right by customers and employees. From lowering carbon footprints to rethinking workspaces, companies have a breadth of options.
When it comes to work culture, it won’t be fashionable to show up sick anymore. Thanks to the pandemic, we now get a chance to “get back to good,” if you will. Companies and governments are re-prioritizing the well-being of their employees.
6. A win for climate change
At this point, most of us have seen the famous Venice pictures. For those who haven’t, the lack of human activity cleared the canal water. Even dolphins and swans appeared only a few days after lockdown.
Similar events are happening around the world, proving we can reverse climate change. This realization comes at a big cost for society, but it’s also an opportunity to unify our voices. The time has finally come to take global action against climate change.
7. Distance does make the heart grow fonder
Studies show that staying connected with those we can’t see is a confinement priority. This is evident from the uptick in social media usage and video chatting apps. At a personal level, many of us have been reaching out not only to our loved ones but to people we hadn’t spoken to in years.
From our end, we knew distance would be no match for love. Our customers had already shown us how to take care of those far away, pandemic or not. Still, it’s comforting to see everyone look after one another in the midst of uncertainty and fear. Despite everything, our human nature is still intact.
We can’t predict when the lockdowns will be over, but we can be sure of one thing. Whenever we can go outside again, we’ll be stepping into a whole new world. Let’s make sure to continue appreciating the little things as we do now.
Are there other things you think will change when it comes to life and work post COVID-19?Let us know in the comments below!