The COVID-19 pandemic has changed every aspect of work and life this outbreak has resulted in many concerns all over the world. The pandemic is having a direct or indirect impact on many sectors such as airline profitability is getting impacted by low seat occupancy, supply chains are getting disrupted globally and retail stores are running out of dry goods and toilet paper in many countries which are eventually leading to an economic slowdown.
The Covid-19 has already resulted in early signs of a shift in how consumers and businesses behave. For instance, pre-coronavirus crisis, only a few people had the experience of working remotely. But Coronavirus spread during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led many organizations to recommend their staff to work from home full-time. Some of these changes are direct, short-term responses to the crises which will revert to regular levels once Covid-19 is contained. However, some of these shifts will continue even after the coronavirus is contained such as creating a long-term digital disruption that will shape businesses for decades to come.
History is evident that every economic recession and pandemic that happened in the past has changed the trajectory of governments, economies and businesses' work culture which resulted in altering the course of history for years to come. The Black Death in the 1300s broke their conventional feudal system in Europe and replaced it with the more modern employment contract. Similarly, the great economic recession kick-started a major innovation drive that radically improved agricultural productivity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already changed many things in the corporate and business world, it is also going to shape the future of many businesses, startups, and governments in the coming future. Over the last few years, as the coronavirus has swept across the globe, we have all had to adjust our daily lives. The technologies which came into the limelight after the pandemic are taking over many conventional methods. Some of the Coronavirus innovations which are likely to come are discussed below.
More Digitization in Learning
COVID-19 is acting as a catalyst for educational institutions worldwide to search for innovative solutions in a relatively short period. Due to the lockdown, closure of many schools, colleges and institutions have started online teaching via interactive apps. The use of online learning platforms has increased massively. Students can take classes at their convenience and it is also helping their teachers to solve their queries, doubts effectively. Students are also making and sending their videos of athletic training and sports to their teachers as homework, making students do things differently.
The interaction among students and teachers has increased. This slow pace of change in academic institutions globally is likely to take over old lecture-based approaches to teaching, conventional institutional classrooms. Currently, various creative solutions are being implemented around the globe. This has led the innovators to find more tools and technology to be used for educational purposes.
With 5G technology becoming more prevalent in countries such as China, US and Japan, we will see learners and solution providers truly embracing the ‘learning anywhere, anytime’ concept of digital education in a range of formats. Thus, E-learning could become a habit that is integrated into daily routines.
Digital Administration will become Mainstream
The Covid-19 breakout has caused government administrators to take action quicker than ever before. South Korea drove rapid testing of over 200,000 of its citizens and used smartphones to tag the movement of the infected — alerting the non-infected of those movements via real-time updates. All of these efforts, as well as transparency of biological impact, could have been improved if there were more smart cities in the world.
As governments learn from the Covid-19 experience, it will shift investment in favour of smart cities as it would be critical to have them in order better manage the pandemic event. Today also, many key players benefiting from this shift in gears would be smart governments, focused companies such as Cisco, Microsoft and Siemens as well as digital city startups across Europe and the US.
It is straightforward to predict that the Covid-19 is going to be an accelerant for remote working as well as online education. This shift will likely impact the efficiency, productivity and mental health of workers throughout the globe and businesses need to prepare for it.
For companies looking to add the human touch digitally to their workplace, the choices are limited today — with Humu, a startup by ex-google HR chief Laszlo Bock. A handful of other tech companies, such as Github and Automattic, which run predominately on a remote collaboration model can also choose to productize their insights and capabilities to help other companies cope. This will create many opportunities to develop such platforms that connect people from remote places and let them work remotely with more efficiency.
Though the trend of wearables has been growing in popularity over the past 5 years, driven mainly by Fitbit and Apple, there is some limitation in their features. However, new features are emerging as sensor technology continues to advance. The pandemic will potentially change this space forever.
Today neither the Apple Watch nor the Fitbit measure body temperature. However, there is a bigger opportunity, outside of wearables will be the in-home diagnostics market. There will be a bigger shift towards virtual doctor appointments as a result of this.
However, virtual doctor appointments don’t completely replace the need for in-person visits when patients need to take the standard flu test, strep test, or have their vitals read. But surely there will be more research in this field which provides many remedies in house only. The amount of new investment and focus on this space will accelerate the progress.
Before the coronavirus crisis, though there was a good demand for online shopping surprisingly there was a tiny demand for grocery e-commerce. According to sources, only 4% of Americans ordered groceries online before this crisis but in India, this demand is even lesser. But since stay-in-place orders went into effect, shoppers are shifting their grocery shopping online.
This has meant a significant increase in demand for grocery retailers who relied on e-commerce as a small percentage of sales. Suddenly they’re dealing with many times their normal volume. The consumer is learning that ordering online isn’t as challenging as once thought, and the retailer is learning to properly staff and fulfil these orders at scale.
As the reliability of customers on online retailing is speeding up, there is going to be demand for online grocery shopping even after coronavirus is contained. So, this is likely to create opportunities for startups to develop more technologies that help in easing the grocery e-commerce experience. However, if the crisis does last longer, retailers will catch up to demand, the experience will improve, and shopping habits will be altered.
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our perspective towards many things. This pandemic led people to think out of the box to make their lives easier which led to the discovery of many things. It has created opportunities for people to explore different fields and come up with something new.