The Post-COVID-19 World Will Be Full Of Innovation!
What percentage of the world is on lockdown right now? Well, that depends on when you’re reading this. We’re living through a time that will be taught in history classes for generations to come. Through adversity comes times of great growth. It’s no coincidence that the most exciting and relatively wealthy time that our world has known, started in the 1950s and reached a peak some 10 to 15 years later.
The Second World War sparked scientific innovation that continues to this day. It also created a level of economic equality not seen before or since. The arts, and to my mind, music, lagged behind, but also hit heights not seen for perhaps hundreds of years.
For sure, this period has challenged us. But it is for us to turn those challenges into positives.
What will happen to us in terms of work, learning, science, the environment, the way we live, and so many more aspects of life?
There’s reason for some optimism that a better world will emerge, once the COVID-19 pandemic recedes. Here are some of my thoughts. I know you have yours though, and really want to hear them!
Working From Home
Work-from-home has been a long time coming. Pity it took the fear of a killer virus to force so many companies into finally accepting its inevitability.
This will have a number of ramifications:
Less office space needs leading to:
- Lower office rental costs
- Lower office insurance and workers compensation insurance
- Less public transportation needs
- Lighter rush hour traffic
- Lower fuel costs
- Cleaner air
- More time at home, some of which will be work time, and some, personal time
- Inobtrusive apps which log work time and/or productivity
- Discretionary downtime during the day, as long as target hours are met
- Coaching on how to effectively work and learn from home
- More lunch venues and roving food trucks in residential areas, serving the work-from-home communities
- The food trucks will automatically text people who have signed up with them, when they are approaching their home area
- Subscription food delivery services for the work-from-home community
To service this, we will need:
- More efficient Data signals from Internet providers
- Better WiFi magnifiers
- A new wave of lower bandwidth websites requiring more efficient apps and plugins
- Continued higher internet bandwidth needs in homes
- Space-saving home desk space, such as fold-up desks
- A boom in standing desks to promote healthier home office working
- Folding home-office dividers
- Virtual desktop portals for home working and learning, segregated from the rest of the machine they’re running on
- Greater anti-virus and anti-hacking security for home computers
- Local, highly secure wireless backup disks for additional backup redundancy
Social Business and Selling From Home
To be sure, many small businesses have operated out of home offices for a long time. But this pandemic has meant that those whose business has always required an in-person Human touch at some point, have been forced to adapt. Everything mentioned above will be the new norm for social business and social selling.
With companies now seeing that they can get groups of people into virtual rooms, there’s every reason to presume that some of those companies will opt for the cheaper option of virtual, or partially virtual sales meetings and training sessions.
Less In-person Meetings Even Post-COVID-19
As stated above, this lockdown will have informed companies that there are viable alternatives to some in-person meetings.
To that end, you can expect:
- Lower business air travel, leading to fewer flights
- Less Business Class travel leading to lower prices
- A downturn in the luxury, business-class hotel and resort market
- Competitors for Zoom to include in-app texting to participants
- Picture-in-picture visual phone apps for Smart TVs, to watch films and programs with people
- Zoom or zoom-like app for Smart TVs
You may also want to read: The Importance Of Video Calls – Now More Than Ever
Conferences, Shopping Habits and Where We Live
This is one area in which avatars will become very big – but not just yet. In the future, it will be possible to attend conferences simply by entering a virtual conference room. You’ll be able to ‘meet’ the other attendees and ‘press the flash with them.
This technology will stretch to home shopping. For example, your avatar will be able to window shop in a virtual mall and try on a pair of virtual shoes.
In the shorter term, as a friend suggested, we can expect some conferences and meetings to convert to AR. On Zoom calls, we can see the other participants or their avatars, in little boxes.
Using AR, we could see the participants in a virtually defined space. Soon enough, we could expect to be able to ‘walk up to’ other participants and speak directly with them. Indeed, this would be a forerunner to hologrammatic calls and conferences, where images surround us without the need for headsets.
In the longer term, less in-office work will lead to a more widespread workforce and a new flight towards further-flung suburbs and villages
The transportation industry will adapt to these changes with new shuttle van services
Imports, Exports, and The Environment
People will now be seeing that some goods that their country is a net importer of, still export some of those goods. Case in point, the US with face masks. This is terrible for the environment and there should be moves to cut out the unnecessary movement of goods.
Example, with purely made up numbers: If the USA exports 50 million face masks in a normal year, but imports 100 million of them, think of the benefit to the environment if the 50 million it sells, stay here, so that the country needs to buy 50 million less!
A new job to service this would be Import/Export Logistician. They would work out the movement of goods around the world and determine how some goods movements can be stemmed.
Home Schooling and Learning
Will there be more homeschooling? Obviously, an overwhelming percentage of families will go back to their pre-COVID schooling. But I still suspect that home-schooling numbers will show a marked increase once things reach their new normal. And this offers opportunities to teachers who can devise good programs. These could include one-on-one and group teaching. They will certainly include curriculum help and time-management suggestions.
For anyone working from home – whether for companies, their own small business, or side-projects, working from home is a challenge. Actually, the challenge extends to those working in offices, who are trying to learn at their desks rather than in classrooms.
We know that distractions exist, and that these make learning anything outside of a classroom less effective. How do we get around that?
Well, as anyone who has taken part in a video call can attest, when you’re looking at people, you concentrate more on them and less on anything external. There are already programs that track whether you are looking at your computer. Expect these to be incorporated into all forms of home learning. If you take your eyes off of the screen for more than a few seconds, the class will stop!
You may also want to read: The Challenges Of Working and Learning From Home [Interactive Q&A]
As more older people come online for video calling and want to stay online and learn more stuff they can do, there will be more need for coaching, and for training videos. And for this group, the written word will also be important. So the manual may make a mini-comeback!
The ‘face mask barrier’ has been broken. You can expect to see them widely used during future flu epidemics.
Internet shopping: If only a couple of percent of the people who have taken to online shopping during the pandemic stick with it, that will mark a serious and sudden shift in shopping habits. It seems fair to guess that this pandemic will have a serious impact on many brick and mortar businesses.
Beyond continuing medical breakthroughs, can anyone really guess what will happen with healthcare, other than that it will be reevaluated?
Worker’s rights, including safety and emergency pay, will be seriously examined in the face of the poor conditions reported at some companies.
Unfortunately, the last two points will depend on the November elections. I don’t think either should be based on politics, as surely, all humans can see that these things are currently inadequate in the USA. Sadly, however, reality and history suggest that politics will indeed play a part.
You may also want to read: Will The Post COVID-19 World Be a Better Place?
What Do You Think?
Do any of the above ideas excite or scare you?
Can you see ways in which these changes will create new opportunities and jobs?
Do you have other thoughts on short and long-term changes to our way of life that COVID-19 will speed up?
Please tell us in the comments.
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