As a result of the pandemic, organisations and industries around the world discovered that they could adapt much faster than they previously thought when the need arises, with the majority of these adaptations relying heavily on technology to transform everyday processes from in person to virtual.
What the rapid transition into lockdown did not allow for, however, was time to develop new systems or processes to facilitate such change. As we begin to adjust to the new normal it is clear that these adaptations to the way we live and work in the time of coronavirus will continue for months if not years to come. As such, we have the opportunity to re-evaluate changes made in haste, to see what has worked and what requires fine tuning, and to look for other ways of expanding this transformational change into other industries or to new audiences.
Here we look at some of the key areas that have been transformed by technology and how that transformation could be further accelerated.
As schools, colleges, and universities shut down over lockdown, there was a mass migration to teaching online, with varying successes. However, what is clear that technology has a place in expanding the reach of education through platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Classrooms, and even simple messaging apps. This could transform the ability of education institutions – in particular colleges and universities – to provide education to a much wider audience than previously possible.
The live entertainment industry has been hard hit by lockdown, with many venues remaining closed and future concerts cancelled. With socially distanced events still remaining a challenge to pull off, virtual events are likely to be around for a long time to come, with streaming apps becoming more advanced and the introduction of tools such as MS Teams Live Events making it easier to broadcast to a larger audience via the platform.
With the majority of people confined to their houses, it is not surprising that ecommerce escalated over lockdown. Whilst restrictions around shopping and dining have been lifted to a certain extent, the rise in ecommerce is likely to increase yet further as people remain cautious about returning to their previous shopping and dining habits. In addition, as further local lockdowns look likely across the UK, many shops and restaurants will look to invest in their online ordering and delivery options to ensure they can maintain income in future lockdown situations.
Dedicated Office Space
With stats suggesting that almost half of employed people have worked from home over lockdown, with no obvious negative impact on productivity, it could be tempting to suggest that the days of the office are numbered.
However, when we take into account the importance of the office in corporate culture and knowledge sharing, it is likely that the workplace of the future will be based on a blended model, with home working and the use of modern, flexible, and safe office spaces becoming the norm.
Technology and smart buildings will play a huge role in the return to the office, allowing workplaces to track the number of people in a building, when they can enter a particular space, and even whether or not the airflow is sufficient for the number of people within the building.
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