I still remember 16 Mar 2020 – the day when I packed up my desk and transitioned to work from home arrangements. As I left my office that day, I felt a sense of uncertainty and fear, the abrupt halt to our usual busy-ness of life and it certainly felt like an economic doomsday was ahead of us.
By the end of the week, I would have forgotten those initial fear and worries. I was busier than ever helping businesses transition, setting up new infrastructure to transition new work arrangements for their staff, and making proposals for their internal projects to gain efficiencies. But all these made me realize that we will emerge to a different social and economic landscape when we come out on the other side.
Here are 3 things that I believe will happen as we emerge into a Post-COVID era:
1. Technology is your friend
It may have replaced some jobs as cities went into lockdown. Despite this, Technology is not your enemy. It will also create new avenues and new possibilities for employment. New industries will emerge out of the necessities of being COVID-vigilant, traditional jobs and industries will be re-defined based on efficiency, productivity, and most importantly, customer experience.
Those who can adapt and master technology will emerge stronger with next-level efficiencies and productivity. Combine that with their individual flairs and they will be the new crème a la crème.
A shift in consumer behaviors will see online shopping continue to gain momentum and catalyze the reduction of traditional brick and mortar retail shops.
2. Social Togetherness
There will be no doubt how social interactions would have changed in this post-COVID era. We already know that traditional forms of greetings may no longer be appropriate for the sake of personal safety.
Technologies that we have learned and become familiar with during the isolation periods would have changed the way we interact with each other. Connectivity across platforms will enable us to be more available to family and friends (if we choose to). Distances will no longer mean reduced interactions.
3. People need to re-skill to stay relevant
When COVID struck, many businesses were unable to retain their staff and were forced to find different ways to adapt and survive this difficult period. People will be offered an opportunity to re-start their career as businesses slowly return to offer their services and the cogs of inevitability slowly returns the economy to a new normal. But work previously handled by people may no longer be there.
I often tell my close friends that they need to retain or improve their people skills and move away from any work that does only data entry or does not require human interactions. Because the likelihood is for all other jobs to be replaced by technology in some shape and form.
There is no doubt that COVID has changed the world rapidly and drastically. I hope that this might have triggered some thoughts. Please feel free to share your thoughts and observations with me too!