We’re living in strange times! This period we’re in now will be talked about by our grandchildren! They’ll ask what it was like living through the Coronavirus Pandemic and how we felt and weren’t we scared of dying.
People will need to take a number of precautions to reduce the chances of them getting ill. It is quite likely that additional (hopefully shorter) lockdown periods may be necessary to keep the infection rate under control.
However, at some point, it is hoped that scientists will work out a vaccine that can be used to give the majority of people immunity to the virus. Once this is in place and a mass vaccination process has given the general public herd immunity, people will be able to return to ways of behaviour more in line with what was seen before the pandemic struck. Unfortunately, experts estimate that a vaccine is likely to take 12 to 18 months to develop even with a fast track approach. So we should expect that this second phase will not occur for quite some time.
How will behaviour change?
There are undoubtedly going to be changes in the way people behave once lockdown is over. In a word, we’re going to become more reclusive. After 2 months of avoiding contact with others, it’s going to be ingrained in our subconscious behaviour patterns. This will be reinforced by government mandates requiring people to avoid too much contact as a way to mitigate further surges in infections.
You may want to consider getting a background green screen so that you can limit how much of your home colleagues and clients get to see! Many of the video conferencing products allow you to replace your actual background with a virtual background. This works well if you have a solid background colour. The software cannot handle a mixed background colour. These can be purchased online or made by hanging a green sheet behind you.
You cannot work on your bed or the lounge floor for the next 6 months, so if you have been working like this in the hope this work from home phase will soon end, I suggest that you get a desk that is large enough to work on comfortably.
Travel will be curtailed
We can also expect travel both via public transportation and air to be something people consider much more carefully. The practice of popping on a flight from one city to another for a 2-hour meeting will become a much rarer phenomenon. Companies may be more inclined to postpone or cancel large company events, including internal meetings, conferences and parties. You can expect the end of year event to be subdued and local!
The coming months are likely to be tough for many businesses though we believe that for many economies, there’ll be a rapid improvement once the lockdown restrictions are reduced. For those businesses that manage to survive the lockdown and get through those first few months when the impact on the economy is likely to mean continued famine, the land of plenty could well beckon since the lean times will have thinned the competitive herd. The companies and individuals that will do best will be those that adapt to the new realities. The time to start thinking about how you will do so is now.