The COVID-19 pandemic has only been around for a few months but it has massively upended the daily lives of the global population. For Americans, the economic impact of the coronavirus has led to the categorization of “essential” workers, triggering a widespread shift to remote work and skyrocketing unemployment rates in the nation.
With more than 30 million people filing for unemployment over the past few weeks, the US could most likely experience a coronavirus-induced recession through to 2021. With strict orders for the masses to stay at home, many people have resolved to seek ways to work remotely from their coaches. Moving forward, here is how the virus will forever change how we work, live, and use technology.
Automation Could Be Accelerated
While futurists have previously warned of “job-snatching robots,” the COVID-19 pandemic has increased fears that automation could replace the jobs of many workers. As a result of social distancing measures, many companies — from retailers to restaurants — have been forced to forge ways to operate with as few physically-present employees as possible. An added bonus is that robots and algorithms can’t get sick. Moving into the future, many companies will work towards automating repetitive jobs using algorithms that can complete administrative tasks. Moreover, robots will streamline manufacturing while drones will deliver goods.
An Increased Urge to Close the Digital Divide
About 21 million Americans currently don’t have access to the internet, according to statistics from the Federal Communications Commission. This means that millions of workers, regardless of industry, are currently unable to work remotely. The coronavirus pandemic has put an even sharper spotlight on this gap. Moving forward, more government officials will see the need to improve broadband infrastructure, especially if online schooling and remote work become a more common option across the world.
Video Conferencing and Email Could Replace Most Meetings
You can expect your post-pandemic work calendar to feature fewer physical meetings. The pandemic is a sort of technological equalizer where people previously unaccustomed to using various technology tools in the workplace have no choice but to adapt. These best practices will likely live on as workers develop new muscles to work virtually. More meetings will become video conferences and emails.
Streaming Will Become the New Way of Content Consumption
Streaming content online has gained massive popularity over the past decade. Even as movie theatres close down and live events get canceled in the face of a global pandemic, online streaming will become an even more important and dominant way to deliver content to consumers. From sporting events to concerts, what was previously considered prime events for huge in-person audiences will shift to streaming content to homebound fans instead.
Although live events will eventually come back after the current crisis, it’s likely that more fans and consumers will prefer staying in the comfort of their homes and watch events that are broadcasted or streamed live instead of paying for expensive tickets, concessions, and lodging to attend events in person.
The COVID-19 virus disease continues to send jitters across the globe. The global epidemic has disrupted many facets of our lives, including work, school, and entertainment. While it may be too early to determine the long-term impact of the virus, there is no doubt this crisis will trigger drastic changes in the lifestyles of everyone across the globe. The tech industry, in particular, will strive to develop new solutions to provide services despite the isolation.