Habits that the pandemic has changed and that could become a way of life: trends for the post-pandemic world
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives. We do not just talk about changing our routine during quarantine days when we were all banned from leaving the house. Our daily lives have changed, it’s true.
However, there have been deeper changes, which have shaped the reality around us. Some scenarios have already begun to emerge, and it is predicted that they should impose themselves in the post-Pandemic world.
SISQUAL has brought together 10 trends that we believe have been enhanced with the arrival of the pandemic:
Changes in commercial spaces
The pandemic has increased consumer fear and anxiety and stimulated the creation of new habits. The fear of frequenting public places is quite common.
Besides the rules to ensure workers’ and customers’ safety conditions, companies will have to develop ways of attracting the consumers’ attention. They’ll have to invest in redesigning their spaces in order to reduce agglomerations. This way they should be able to take to the consumer the feeling of safety.
New business models in restaurants
The futurist Rohit Bhatgava speaks about the ghost restaurants as one of the ten post-COVID19 trends. The term is used to describe establishments that operate only with take-away service. In an interview with Forbes, Martti Paatela of Epic Foods argues that “eventually, ghost restaurants will begin to replace home-made kitchens”.
The truth is, we live in a world where demand for deliveries is multiplying rapidly. However, many of the conventional restaurants we know do not have the means to meet demand or cannot grow to do so. Ghost restaurants emerge as new supply locations for the industry.
Data privacy concern
As a way to follow the pandemic spread and in order to fight it, many organizations worldwide have worked on the development of Covid-19 screening apps. Apple and Google have joined forces to develop and distribute a mobile tracking technology that allows tracking the chain of potential Covid-19 infected people. There are a lot of mobile apps on the market that make it easier to identify and monitor infected people.
According to an SAP study, in 2018 the number of home office workers worldwide was 32.5%. In 2019 that number increased to 35%.
The growth of the home office, which was already a pre-pandemic trend, was completely sped up by necessity. This happened when the situation started to become more serious and security measures had to be taken. This means a merge of home office as part of the reality of a growing number of companies. Gradually, it came to stay.
Immersive cultural experiences
In one of our previous articles, we mentioned that technology helped people access entertainment during the quarantine. Musicians, artists, institutions, and galleries had to reinvent themselves and find new ways to reach their audiences. There was an investment in lives and online shows and the boom of virtual tours to museums.
A future trend could be the evolution of these phenomena into immersive cultural experiences, which connect the real with the virtual. These use technologies that already exist in the market, but which in the future will surely spread, such as augmented reality, virtual assistants, and machine learning.
According to Hype Cycle study by the international consultancy company Gartner, immersive experiences are one of the three major trends in technology. However, we believe that there will also be an increase in this type of virtual experience in sectors such as tourism and retail.
With the boom of home office, there is also the possibility of increasing Burnout. Burnout syndrome is a psychological disorder caused by stress resulting from overwork. According to Vanessa K. Bohns (Cornell University’s organizational behavior specialist), employees who have suddenly moved into the home office regime may be more prone to physical and mental exhaustion.
One of the main reasons is the lack of balance between personal and professional life. What often happens is that those who work from home usually work longer hours and find it more difficult to switch off the computer. There is no forced limit that helps separate work from personal life that happens when we leave the office, for instance.
The “new” money
The way of dealing with money was already moving towards becoming mainly digital. The current crisis and the consequent turmoil in the financial markets may have triggered a turning point towards a new future of money, banks, and transactions. Here, Bitcoins, digital wallets, and biometric payments may take an increasingly important place.
In addition, “the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented concerns about viral transmissions through physical cash”, says a recent Bank for International Settlements (BIS) report. Thus, digital payment methods have grown in popularity, such as contactless technology.
As we have said before, during quarantine lives exploded, especially on Instagram. The same phenomenon occurred in online sales, becoming a priority for stores that until then only had physical establishments. In the Chinese market, at the peak of the epidemic, there was an abrupt growth of shopstreaming, which has already been considered by several futurists as a growing trend. This can be summed up in a single expression: trade-oriented lives.
This should be the future of e-commerce: interactive, experimental, and real-time shopping.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, many schools, educational institutions, and institutes closed. This led to an abrupt transition to distance education, training, and e-learning. Platforms and systems for continuous learning had to adapt to these changes. This led to promising trends for the future of education.
Skills that could be easily learned through distance learning could change the next generation work panorama. This can also trigger a redesign of the education system itself, and accelerate the emergence of virtual mentors.
According to Trend Watching, a trend analysis company, new platforms or services should emerge. Many of them with the aim of connecting mentors and teachers to people who want to learn about different subjects.
Concerns about hygiene issues
There has been a clear increase in hygiene habits, especially regarding hand disinfection. Even when the public health crisis is finally over, it’s expected that everyone will still want to keep the sense of safety. As we have already said in point 1, those who use the idea of well-being and implement it in their physical spaces will certainly succeed. The aim is to make healthy environments.
As a final reflection, we wonder if we’ll see another change, this time in the social paradigm. Has the pandemic helped in the development of more balanced lives? Will there be a greater concern for the family and for others?
The post-pandemic human behavior has changed the way people work, and this has a major impact on Workforce Management. For this reason, SISQUAL keeps an eye on trends in an attempt to understand behaviors and prepare appropriately for upcoming changes. The SISQUAL software can be a great ally of team leaders and great HR managers during these times.
Written by Cristina Meireles
Cristina Meireles has a special interest in marketing, psychology, HR and Employer Branding. She has found in WFM a way to improve the quality of life and productivity of employees, being a strong ally in motivational campaigns. She has a degree in Languages and Business Relations from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto and is currently attending the masters in digital marketing from ISCAP.