Navigating a Post-Pandemic World
By Emily Cong
In only a matter of months, the coronavirus pandemic has completely altered how we live, work, and learn. Beyond unleashing a global health and economic crisis, COVID-19 has triggered unprecedented changes to the business landscape. While the pandemic has threatened millions of lives, it has simultaneously endangered our livelihoods. Technology has played a major role in supporting our efforts to stay connected and maintain business operations remotely. Nonetheless, workers across most industries have been prompted to devise creative solutions in response to forthcoming issues.
Technology the new norm
In times when in-person interactions are scarce, the necessity of digital communication has become apparent. The coronavirus has served as a catalyst for a complete shift in the status quo, with remote work becoming the new norm and the internet serving as an “essential service”.
Between the 26th of Marchand 1st of April, there have been millions of downloads for online platforms including Zoom, Google Classroom and TikTok – indicating a noticeable spike in digital communications usage for work, school, and leisure.
Work from home
As we look beyond the horizon, the question of whether Work From Home (WFH) is here to stay remains dependent on whether productivity and efficiency levels can be maintained. It is safe to say that remote working and technology-based communication will be more prominent than before as social distancing restrictions begin to ease. However, consistently adequate fulfilment of performance measures such as deadlines, production schedules, work quality and customer satisfaction is required. We are by no means ready for an absolute halt to traditional workplace practices, but the crisis has brought to light the benefits of flexible work.
A challenge for innovators
While the coronavirus pandemic undoubtedly embodies a trying challenge for humanity, it also triggers a call to action for aspiring change-makers and innovators. A crucial element of problem-solving and adapting to change involves embracing creativity and being unafraid to explore new directions. With crisis comes major changes in trends, consumption patterns and market behaviour – a hotspot for entrepreneurship and growth opportunities.
On all levels - whether it be within organisations or for the everyday individual – confidence in growth and a drive for innovation is necessary to deliver lasting solutions to the complex global challenges ahead. In times like this, big businesses and budding entrepreneurs alike face the same call to action – to evolve and innovate in order to thrive.
Looking back, many of today’s most successful companies - Uber, Instagram, Pinterest, Dropbox and Slack - were founded during the 2008 economic recession. From this, the optimistic outlook is that if anything, entrepreneurial spirit thrives amidst crises and uncertainty.
Past experiences only highlight our capacity to channel our challenges into purpose-driven innovation addressing immediate concerns within relevant sectors such as healthcare, education and technology and emphasising the importance of a sustainable world in which technology is leveraged to enable new ways of working and living.
Looking to the future
As we emerge from lockdown, we face a cloud of uncertainty surrounding what ‘normalcy’ will entail. Life Before Coronavirus (BC) and After Coronavirus (AC) will be drastically different, but what we know for sure is the value of adapting to change and problem-solving through innovation. After all, a time of crisis is equally a time of opportunity.