Are the effects of the pandemic a long-term shift?
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No doubt we have learned from the pandemic a lot, but would these new health protocols and changes of mind towards businesses, work, education, shopping, and daily way of living, still stay in the long run?
The most significant changes during the pandemic and afterwards:
- Health behaviour changes include wearing masks, sanitising our hands, social distancing, avoiding crowded spaces, and less socialising.
- Working from home or hybrid work.
- Shopping online.
- Travelling locally.
Way of working
The number of people working from home part-time escalated to 37% before falling to 30% in January 2022, a tendency we can see in several countries. It is precisely what business leaders are looking for: workers returning to the office.
Numerous companies are concerned about the team building they can develop best at the office. They are sure it is much better for driving the most out of them when talking about productivity and creativity. However, among employees, there is incredible enthusiasm for keeping their flexible and hybrid work in the future.
Online shopping habits were not created during the pandemic, but they grew exponentially, changing the concept we had about shopping centres affected by the lockdowns during the crisis. However, currently, Online shopping has been declining steadily since February 2022. However, shopping in stores is recovering little by little, as it is not only an idea of shopping, but they see it as a recreational space, and above all, the need we all have to socialise.
The pandemic hit strongly worldwide; transportation was tremendously affected as the closing of highways and frontiers disrupted all Supply Chains: Air, road, rail, ships, workforce, lorries drivers, and more. The sector is still struggling, and events foretell that international travelling in 2022 will remain down compared to pre-pandemic levels. Travelling might take longer to recover to pre-pandemic levels, especially international travelling.
Moreover, a low percentage of people considering travelling abroad instead decided to spend their holidays in their country. They are still concerned about the virus, and countries’ authorities are unsure about travelling protocols.
Do you think having social distancing health protocol, gathering small groups of people, and avoiding physical contact will remain in the future? Do we still want to? Only time would say.
For most people, it is not an option. The rate of people worldwide is socially distancing even these days, a practice now common in our society. Some medical advisers suggested that we should never return to shaking hands. However, others argue that it is vital to socialising as it has multiple psychological, biological, and social benefits.
Further comments: Even though certain opinions and predictions are headed toward the possibility that we need to forget our past way of doing things once and for all, it is too early to affirm so. Human basic needs are the sense of belonging, autonomy, and feeling valued and appreciated for what we do. The crisis taught us we can benefit, personally and family, from the challenges the pandemic put on us as individuals.
Hybrid working allows us to take advantage of home working while giving us greater autonomy, at the same time, less connected. These two approaches could be flexible working agreements that employers and employees must consider.
The sense of competence and familiarity with the already-transformed way of doing things makes us re-learn innovative procedures, break old habits, and reshape our professional, social and family lives for the better. Flexibility and mind changes will help us to interact with others, welcome new experiences, and be eager to socialise.
The pandemic taught us to appreciate our relationships significantly, to be more emphatic and collaborative, and perhaps to limit our Online communication as it could not replace the fundamental face-to-face interactions.
Are you considering better re-learn habits and being open-minded about transforming your environment?
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