The COVID-19 pandemic has, in a very short time, significantly changed life as we know it – from the way we work and study to the way we connect with our loved ones. While things will likely normalise as the threat of the pandemic passes, there are some aspects of this new way of living that may be here to stay.
1. The way we work
While many companies may have flirted with the idea of remote working before the pandemic, they’ve had to rapidly adapt to a new way of doing things in the past few months. Employees have been set up to work from home, video conferencing has become the norm, and companies have seen that remote working can be implemented effectively. And it’s likely that this trend will continue, at various levels, well beyond COVID-19. Twitter, for example, recently announced that its employees can now work from home indefinitely, while Facebook has revealed long-term plans to move much of its workforce to remote work.
2. The way we shop
While online retail has been around for years, many consumers have still opted to do most of their shopping in physical stores. The lockdown and risk of COVID-19, however, have made online shopping an increasingly attractive option. According to a recent Nielsen study on “the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour in South Africa”, 37% of South Africans say they are shopping more online – and it’s probable that many of these new shopping habits will remain after the crisis is over.
3. The way we learn
The World Economic Forum says that COVID-19 has “become a catalyst for educational institutions worldwide to search for innovative solutions in a relatively short period of time.” Around the world, schools are offering their pupils remote learning options – like video conference classes and study groups – and many universities are starting to introduce remote learning solutions. So what happens beyond the virus? Hopefully the positive and innovative aspects of distance learning will find a place alongside traditional learning and the physical classroom.