The New Normal

A lot will change in the post apocalyptic Corona world. We do not know what these change will be but consumer behavior will change or rather modify. Home and work environments will be impacted in many ways. We will see a lot of innovation in maintaining sanitized spaces everywhere. This will lead to products and systems that will be part of every household. 

It seems that India has experienced these epidemics in the past, so much so that they the way we (Indians) greet was impacted. Our culture never encouraged shaking hands. I am sure this had something to do with keeping our germs or anyone else’s from spreading and yet being respectful. But here are a few things that will change for a lot of people, personally & professionally and for small or big businesses.

  1. The lockdown time has been a time to introspect. One understands the value of family and friends and the joy they bring to our lives. I have decided to celebrate every small event possible and show more gratitude to people whom I love and appreciate.
  2. Corona virus is not leaving the planet until there is a vaccine in place. Till then whenever we step out we will have to be careful. This will impact how we dress. We will see a lot of innovation in this space where we will see different types of face masks, body suits etc. Soon we will see smart masks and wearables to facilitate social distancing.
  3. I know how to practically manage everything online. This also means that people and companies will make a rapid shift towards digitization. A lot of people in IT/ITES have begun investing in it already. I see this spreading to other industries, especially service industries. While in the past, digitisation was adopted by mid to large sized companies, micro and small sized units will opt for digitisation on immediate basis post lockdown.
  4. Without a doubt, data and infrastructure, which till date had not moved to the cloud, will do now. Which also means, data security related services would pick up. We all read about Zoom having data and security issues. Lot of companies have opened their services for free use. I recently noticed that WhatsApp allowed video calls between more than 2 people. They too realise that lockdown is a good time for people to experience their services and will become potential customers post lockdown.
  5. I foresee offices becoming a place to only meet once a week or fortnight for important stuff.
  6. I also anticipate government relaxing norms on having home offices. Till now they were limited to a few professions like lawyers, architects, doctors, CAs etc.. This will definitely open up for a lot more kind of professions. Employees will be given incentives to work from home. This I feel will be great for environment in general. A lot less vehicles on the road will reduce pollution and congestion.
  7. I believe people will finally learn how to strike a balance between work and life. I have realized, life is not just about work. It is about pursing your passions. Something to look forward to besides work, which not only forces us to push our physical and psychological boundaries but also work as stimuli for our brains. Sports, arts, craft, etc. will find a special place in our lives again.
  8. Interpersonal relationships will find a new meaning. People may start to choose partners for more than just their looks. I noticed lesser selfies during lockdown. Saw more posts on how couples and families are spending time and thankfully in their less ornate/artificial environments.
  9. Children love to spend time with their parents. They love the attention they are getting and this time it is totally undivided. With all this time on their hands, children I know of have spent lesser time watching TV than their regular holidays. By now most parents have also become Monopoly, Ludo and Sankes & ladder experts.
  10. Netflix has pushed our limits and we have pushed Netflix’s. We have finally realized how much TV we can watch without losing our sleep and vision. Meaningful conversations will take precedence over frivolous bonding. Conversations vs. TV? Still deliberating. 
  11. Financially speaking, people will now have had the time to analyze their personal and domestic spend. They will have a better understanding of what is good to have and they must have. I think, people will not spend extravagantly on anything for a few years; impulse buy will take a hit. What we need vs. what we want is better understood in these times. I hope we will continue to focus on needs than wants.
  12. Since all of us have been glued to the television, we now know which news channels show unverified news and which ones are more genuine. My family for e.g. is only watching NDTV. Other channels show very irrelevant stuff, cause panic and are very repetitive in their content. 
  13. Almost everyone I know, showed a desire to learn a new skill or improve an existing skill. A good internet connection is a great asset, makes so many things simpler. DIY is the new black.

This lockdown has given us the time to reflect on many things.  Life for me has become about making my existence count. If I am then I must make a difference. I must commit to a goal and bring a significant change. There are so many things to do, so much to learn, so much to share. Have absolutely no desire to retire without a purpose.

It is so surreal; a virus had made the entire world helpless. This pandemic has brought in some sort of a reality check; we are all humans, all equally vulnerable, all in it at the same time.

Even the most developed countries have not been able to curb it. However, this pandemic has also strengthened my belief in SCIENCE. All the temples, mosques, places of worship are shut, but hospitals, pharmacies and all healthcare facilities are open. Even the most religious will not depend on their faith but on medicine and science. The innovations in the field of science for healthcare, that these troubled times have brought about; reinstate the fact the human mind is the ultimate spirit. And our “mind’s” determination and will to survive will pull us out of it.

The real heroes our, scientists, doctors, engineers, innovators, healthcare staff, basically everyone who is working not for reward but to serve humanity deserve more than just an applause.