It’s difficult to decipher exactly when the COVID-19 storm will lift, and while many around the world stare into crystal balls looking for answers on this, I have spent some time speaking to clients, colleagues and friends to understand what the most pertinent shifts surfacing are and how they’re set to impact our future for the better, creating opportunities and – finally – some positivity. Here are my predictions:
1. Collaborating purposefully
Finally, we will understand the full power of remote working technology. Forced into a situation where we have all had to become more experienced in hosting and participating in virtual meetings, we will start to use technology in more positive ways to bring people together. Working remotely will undoubtedly continue to play a large role, but physical interactions and collaborations will become more meaningful, human and special. Ultimately, collaboration will be less exhausting and more natural, and a boon for both our physical and mental health.
2. New innovative products & services
All companies have had to look at how they protect themselves and their employees, and as a result many have had to update or even re-invent their business models. It’s because of this we can expect to see exciting new products and services coming out. Products and services that will be considerate and make a value-adding difference in our lives and the new environment we now live in.
3. Flexibility and agility in production
Helping us to act more swiftly and reduce time to market, the untapped potential of production facilities to go beyond their original purpose will be realised. Making us more independent from global supply chains, robots and algorithms, this can not only help in crisis situations but also to launch innovative new products faster and at a lower price.
4. Capitalism light
Like the 2008 crisis before, we will see governments intervene with the economy, offering support and becoming shareholders of big corporations. Eventually society will make its peace with capitalism light and accept that it could in fact be a more sustainable solution, something that is not contrary but could even be healthy for a democratic system.
5. All-in for saving the planet
We fully acknowledge that a slower life, and slower economy, helps to save our planet. Everyone will be more open to implement environmentally sustainable measures in their lives – in both the private and corporate sector. Eco-radicalists will take a back seat as the world aligns around a joint purpose to act responsibly now, and for the generations to come.
6. Healthcare becomes THE place to be
Health is wealth and it’s for that reason that healthcare will become more important than ever. Combined with the opportunities presented by cutting-edge technology, it will be the ultimate destination for investors, but there will also be a noticeable shift as society takes a more vested interest in developments. Modern healthcare will be accessible and fun – not only for a niche set of hipsters but for everyone. People will be much more willing to divulge information for individual data collection and analysis to make healthcare even better.
7. Local communities becoming our new comfort zone
Local communities support us, and we support the community in return. We will have stronger relationships with our local shops and will again enjoy the quality of their products, the people behind those businesses, and be willing to pay premium prices for their produce and products.
8. Lower social pressure
Feelings of FOMO (Fear of missing out) will be a thing of the past as appreciation for time alone and/or with few close relatives or friends increases. JOMO (Joy of missing out) will become a reality and introverts will – for the first time – have more energy than extroverts. Intimate events will see a significant increase in demand and mass tourism, which has disturbingly plagued many destinations for so long, will finally die.
9. Feeling of togetherness & need for higher love
We see it everywhere at the moment, people selflessly leaning in where they can. Considering the magnitude of this crisis, the joint helplessness of nations has also brought with it a feeling of togetherness: a united front. The need and appreciation for higher love from families, friends and businesses is sticky and staying with us.
Within all this gloom, it’s important to focus on the potential positive changes and opportunities around the corner to give us hope and determination in order to beat this crisis. I can’t wait to see what other things could become the new normal once COVID-19 relinquishes its grip.
Read more of Prophet’s perspectives on leading in a time of crisis.