Our world after Covid-19
What will our society look like after Coronavirus? Use these examples to set up your strategy for the post-Covid era.
While we are all counting down the days to return to a world after Corona, we need to be aware that parts of our society will remain permanently changed. This is not to say we are facing a full reset. Rather, life after the virus will be altered by dozens of new tweaks and adjustments. Many of these changes will become immediately the new normal, with people adapting quickly to the different ways Covid-19 has impacted their lives.
We refer to this new era as the Low Touch Economy.
Entering into the Low Touch Economy
In order to provide structure to the changes being driven by the Low Touch economy, we have created the following three categories:
- No changes expected post-Corona
- Minimal changes expected post-Corona
- Significant changes expected post-Corona
Of course, no one can predict the future – we can only prepare for it. Which is why we’ve created these changes as a guide to developing potential scenarios that could exist up to a year after we’ve reached peak pandemic. For our purposes, we have assumed that there may not necessarily be a vaccine that is widely available yet.
What will and will not be different (3 categories)
1. No changes expected post-corona (examples)
Even with some short term ramifications of social and physical distancing, many aspects of our post-covid world will be quick to kick back to normal.
Schools will open up again.
Where possible, they will be smaller classes, bigger rooms, and extra hygiene measures. But children are resilient and soon enough the desire to return to learning and playing with others will override much of the behaviors learned during the lockdown.
Workers will return to the office.
Not everyone will or can continue working from home indefinitely, which will result in many employees returning to their offices and falling back into their daily work routines. Again, some extra restrictions might apply, like extra hygiene measures and more flexibility in schedules, but it is safe to assume that professional life after Corona will not be 100% remote.
Health and wellness will remain top priorities.
Hospitals will remain a buzzing hub long after the virus has been controlled. On one hand, consumers will embrace remote services and telemedicine for their healthcare needs. On the other hand, consumers who have been pushing aside and avoiding getting treated for non-Covid related ailments and chronic illness, will at some point need to return to hospitals for treatment.
2. Minimal changes expected post-corona (examples)
We will need to reimagine, but not revise completely, many situations in which large gatherings or close physical interactions cannot be avoided.
Retail will embrace limitations.
Many retailers will be able to manage social distancing concerns by limiting the amount of people per store at any given time and even extending their opening hours, all and all keeping the shopping experience very similar. The real change will come at the backend, where supply chains and e-commerce channels will create a barrier to retailers providing a frictionless experience.
A new guide to etiquette.
Many daily rituals will change form or simply just dissolve away. Don’t expect a lot of handshakes anytime soon. Even rejecting of a handshake may no longer be seen as rude or a sign of disrespect. Avoiding strangers by switching sides of a busy street will be accepted as the polite thing to do. And of course, masks will become our protection from the outside world.
Critical lens on transportation.
The world after Covid-19 will see a lot less business travel and far more remote meetings. People will be weighting the benefit of meeting in person against the risk of taking public transportation. That’s not to say that trains, planes, and subways will be avoided completely, but rather the health precautions required to feel at ease during these commutes will be an additional burden that consumers must account for.
3. Significant changes expected post-corona (examples)
Unfortunately not everything will pass by unnoticed and significant change will need to be made in order to ensure economic success for the future. Certain aspects of our society after the Covid-19 crisis will not pass by unnoticed.
Similar interactions at info desks and cashiers will see extra transparent screens. Those add-ons to existing service infrastructure will be quickly placed and not fit in with the rest of the interior design. Again, you will not be able to look away from those panels.
Health checks will become more and more commonplace. While it may feel normal to be screened at the airport, how will it feel to have your health checked as you drop your kids off at school or before you enter a business meeting? What sort of stigmas will be placed on those who receive a failed health screening? Keeping in mind that technology will always provide false negatives.
Beginning of hygiene theatre.
Additionally, many companies will switch to some form of hygiene theatre to show that they are fully ready for the world after Corona. Expect very visible cleaning procedures in hospitality and retail. With high-profile brands using their approach to cleanliness as a PR tool for their business.
This list is ever growing and will impact each of our industries differently. What do you expect to change and what will stay the same?