The last weeks have seen a rising number of fortune-tellers and wise men. What will the future look like once the Covid-19 pandemic is under control?
I do not claim to be any wiser or smarter than the official and unofficial experts that have made their predictions. I have merely collected some of those that resounds most with my reasoning.
Airlines and travel companies as we know them are disappearing. Not just because of Corona, but in light of the climate crisis, it will be difficult to defend the restart of such a heavy-pollution industry.
It was tough to get people to restain from buying cheap airline tickets and fly around the world for business and pleasure. Everybody else did it - and it was hard to break the habit. This will be much easier now.
It is all in human nature. The fear of catching a new kind of virus is much bigger than taking care of the climate. The more personal an issue is, the more it matters.
This summer most people will have a home-cation, discover how beautiful their own country is and that the close by wonders is just as giving as the far away ones.
Societies that primarily live by tourism are facing a hard time.
Hello video calls
There can hardly be anyone that has not seen the long-term benefits and possibilities in video calls. It took a worldwide pandemic to make the last sceptics download Zoom or Google Hangout.
But in areas with a decent internet connection, this will be an integrated part of the working day from this day forward. On a personal note, I work on projects with people in England, Denmark, Romania, Ukraine, Thailand and Germany. I have not left my house for weeks and have not become any less productive.
This will increase the demand for better and faster internet. No doubt and one can only wonder if it will mean another separation between the industrial areas with fast internet and rural districts without. Either the 5G (or even 6G) net will have to be implemented fast, or we will see another step towards urbanization. No internet, no life.
The death of the open-plan office
Experts have been telling us for years: open-plan offices are not suitable for anything. The constant noise and people interaction breaks workflows, enhances stress symptoms and decreases face-to-face collaboration.
And then there is the Covid-19 related issue: An uncovered cough or sneeze creates a spray of up to 40,000 disease-ridden droplets that travel at up to 200 mph to a distance of up to 26 feet and stay suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes.
One of the projects I am part of already talks about giving up the open-plan office the Kyiv team used to rent and meet through video calls and in real life every two weeks instead.
So what are office owners to do? Easy - rebuild and create a lot of small offices with cheap rent. Trust me - there are plenty of parents that could still do with four or five hours away from the home to get some work done - or maybe take a nap.
The winning business will be the home-office industry selling working desk, chairs and printers to private homes – and chiropractors. They will have an ever-growing customer base of people with sour backs and repetitive strain injuries.
The birth of the long-distance work-life balance
Employees have never hired the best people. They have hired the best people they knew and could get a hand on. Until now, one of the natural stumblingblocks for hiring good people has been the commute distance. If the job was not attractive enough to make prospects move closer to the office, the realistic hiring-zone was an hours drive.
For the company that realizes that physical presence is not an absolute requirement that hiring-zone has expanded considerably. This will mean they can get more candidates to choose from, and maybe even take the money they save on office lease and put it on top of the salary.
Expanded access to skilled people will mean more fierce competition for the best jobs that can be managed from a distance.
… I have colleagues that are unable to delete slides in a PowerPoint presentation. Their IT-skills are not adequate for such a task. Their time will soon be over.
Money - the glue that holds it all together
With this new reality, we will see more and more cross-national projects and trade. I am already using highly skilled freelancers from various countries and continents today. Until now, the hiring and payment have been sorted through a platform and the amount small enough to go through conventional methods of payment cards.
But soon these jobs will grow to a scale where I want to hire them on a more permanent basis. I would also like to pay them faster and with lower transaction fees than the ones I spend today.
The issue has already arisen last week where a freelancer declined a job as the currency was set to Euro. Being from England, he was afraid his payment would be devaluated every week due to the falling Pound value.
We need a new universal toke protocol and a monetary system that is uniformed and makes these things faster and easier.
If you have any doubts about any of the above prediction, I can promise you that this one is for sure.
If you share this opinion, please discuss with us in the Tagion Forum - every idea is valuable.