From the workplace to education to music concerts to more, here are seven predictions about our post-pandemic life from expert sources.
Gartner suggests nine workplace trends that could change after the pandemic, such as humanizing employees.
While some organizations have recognized the humanitarian crisis of the pandemic and prioritized the well-being of employees as people over employees as workers, others have pushed employees to work in conditions that are high risk with little support — treating them as workers first and people second.
Be deliberate in which approach you take and be mindful of the effects on employee experience, which will be long-lasting. Address inequities if remote and on-site employees have been treated differently. Engage task workers in team culture and create a culture of inclusiveness.
The World Economic Forum suggests education will be reshaped in three ways, including public-private partnerships.
From Microsoft and Google in the U.S. to Samsung in Korea to Tencent, Ping An, and Alibaba in China, corporations are awakening to the strategic imperative of an educated populace. While most initiatives to date have been limited in scope, and relatively isolated, the pandemic could pave the way for much larger-scale, cross-industry coalitions to be formed around a common educational goal.
ForeignPolicy.com asked seven experts for their post-pandemic travel predictions. Rolf Potts, the travel essayist, thinks there will be less desire to visit popular places.
A constant source of travel headlines in recent years has been tourist overcrowding in places such as Venice and Bali, and I doubt the desire to go to so-called hot spots or top-ten-list destinations will drive the next wave of travel. It will be the desire simply to go, and to figure things out along the journey. Think road trip or backpacking adventure, not package tour.
Librarians chime in about curbside pickups, access to online resources, how many libraries existed during the 1918 pandemic, and how some institutions are bringing back the telephone.
Realizing that many seniors who showed up in person at the libraries aren’t comfortable moving online, Anything Libraries, a district of seven libraries in Adams County, Colorado, have staffed up their midday hours to man a telephone call center. Users can call to “just say hi” or talk about what’s on their minds. The message the library wants to convey even during the pandemic, according to the director Pam Smith: “We are here for you.”
5. College Sports:
This prediction is about revenue (or, the lack of it). A recent survey of athletic directors indicates that 86% believe the future is bleak.
All of it hints at a possible future that includes cutting sports, slashing salaries, laying off staff, and weighing ability to fully funding existing sports if finances become too tight.
6. Music Concerts:
Written in May 2020, this prediction by industry professionals is that music concerts will return to pre-pandemic levels in 18-24 months.
Toby Mamis, a longtime management representative for Alice Cooper, says “I don’t think anyone knows what the ‘new normal’ will be, and anyone who says they do, really doesn’t. General admission standing shows? Reserved seats three or four feet apart in alternative rows? Restrooms? Lines to get in? The economic models are challenging to say the least.”
In this fascinating BBC report, the pandemic ushered in a respect for silence and there’s a growing trend that access to solitude should be a human right.
“I think when everything goes back to ‘normal’ there will have been this new precedent set – a benchmark of what quiet is possible, and a new perception of our soundscape… Most people know constant stimulus is not good for your health. But then most authorities see noise as something that can only be mitigated by spending a lot of money. And the argument is always that noise is the product of activity that brings money to a community. The cost to quality of life is overlooked.”– Erica Walker, postdoctoral researcher at Boston University’s School of Public Health and founder of Noise and the City, a campaign organisation studying urban noise levels