If the Covid-19 induced lockdown has you working from home, or has stopped you from going to see family and friends, chances are you’ve discovered the joys of video calls. The likes of Zoom, Houseparty and familiar face Skype are helping preserve a sense of normality in our relationships right now that wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago.
Stable online communications are one segment of the tech world that has slowly improved from grainy last resort to genuine everyday alternative for many businesses. And there’s no greater test of just how robust new tech is than putting it under stress.
The only constant is change
The coronavirus spread has given that impetus to corporations and in turn, general working life for a lot of us. Whereas we might have dabbled in these areas before, the velocity of current adoption means they will likely become the norm.
And that’s one of the big realisations right now - the speed of change. And without being too alarmist, we do have to get ourselves ready for that and participate in it or risk getting left behind.
This doesn’t mean that anything tech-related will signal a paradigm shift. I recently saw an ad for virtual football stickers, which might be a good leveller to the conversation here. The important aspect of progression is making life easier, quicker and more efficient, not just different. That’s why I think my sticker album is safe for now - the alternative isn’t better than what already exists.
This is how we’ll have to view change from now on. If you think of the major changes to everyday life including tech over the past few years - they’ve become mainstream because we’ve seen the inherent ease and efficiency they offer. Contactless payment, online shopping and intermediary services like ride-hailing and apartment rental apps all fit the mould.
On a personal level, working from home could well be a big shift that stays with us after the lockdown ends. Do you have everything you need to work effectively from home or does it still feel like you’re making do because you have to? Now is the time to get that extra screen or better chair.
Less facetime with colleagues and management could promote greater focus on a results-driven work ethic too - no more nine to five, just have your project ready by Friday.
Working remotely could offer up a chance to start a side business - selling on Amazon and dropshipping have both become more popular already during the lockdown. You could also look to ease the transition into retirement now by easing off the pedal for a few days a week, or taking on just the projects you fancy, from home. Not revolutionary but a whole lot easier with greater adoption and appreciation of tech-powered smaller businesses and freelancers.
With that comes a host of other possible changes - are you likely to replace your office latte with a monthly coffee bean subscription? Are you going to have to rethink your energy usage - after all you’re home for eight hours a day more than you used to be? There are apps out there for both of these, as well as everything to keep your social life going. Less office time means fewer opportunities for an off-hand chat or after-work catch-ups - going out in town might feel a bit special again.
These are all hypotheticals but the reality is that our adaptability is on show now. Incorporating change like this into our ability to function normally can be helped by tech. It’s worth using the current time to see which apps and services actually help you with it all and which are more trouble than they’re worth.
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