4 consequences the current global pandemic will have on society’s use of technology

June 1, 2020
4 consequences the current global pandemic will have on society’s use of technology

Even though technology has been integrating our everyday lives more and more in the past two decades, the current global pandemic has given even more opportunity for technology to integrate our everyday lives. I believe the way technology is used during these times will affect the way we use it in the future. Here are 4 consequences I believe the pandemic will have on society’s technology.

Work from home = new normal

With the virus forcing everyone to stay isolated at home, companies were found in a situation where they had to accommodate people to be able to work from home. While lots of tech company already had infrastructures in place to accommodate the work from home lifestyle, many companies didn’t have the tools in place to allow long term work from home. The virus forced most companies to update those tools and made it possible for employees to do their work from home without having to come into the office. While this is still not an ideal situation for many companies, I believe a lot of employees and companies realized how unnecessary going into work 5 days per week is. Some people have a 1 to 2 hours commute per day to come into work to complete a job they now realize they could have done in the comfort of their own home, without wasting commute time. I do not think all work will be done from home for now on, I’m saying it will now become the norm to come into work 2-4 days a week for a grand majority of companies. We are already seeing more extreme cases such as Shopify, who announced they were going to work remotely indefinitely while they redesign their offices for a mostly remote work environment. Apparently, their new offices will be able to hold about 20-25% of their employees at once. I think we must prepare to see a lot more companies take similar steps.

Home From College

Another big change the virus has occasionated is online school. With the virus, schools were forced to be moved online, which I think will occasionate some changes in the future of education. By that, I don’t think primary and high school will fully take place online in the near future, but I believe there will be online components added here and there to their curriculum since our current situation is like a test run for what can be done online. I think there are going to be positive online outcomes from this pandemic for primary and high school students. However, where I think the big change will be is in college education. Many universities have announced their Fall 2020 semester will take place online, which mean professors will have to build a new curriculum to support the online format if that had not already been done. As a result of the technical issues students may face, and the different time zones students may be in, universities are most likely to make self-directed studies just like the current engineering programs at the University of Waterloo, where all lectures are pre-recorded, or if they are live, they are recorded for students who may not be able to attend. Therefore, professors will build an online course version of their traditional in person one. I believe that since the curriculum of most of the courses will have been re-written to be online, universities will be able to offer those classes either in person or online, obviously if it’s possible with the curriculum. I strongly feel like we will see more and more courses being done online after this pandemic.

No Online Presence, no Business

All businesses that do no have an online presence will not survive this pandemic. I mean unless they can survive 3+ months of not having any business or they are an essential service, I don’t see how they could survive without doing business online. I think businesses realized the importance of having an online presence because an online presence assures business will continue no matter what the state of the world is. That’s why I believe that from now on, most companies born in the post-coronavirus era will have an online presence. Another point to mention is that businesses might already have had an online presence before the pandemix started, but our current situation made them realize how unreliable the online component of their business was. I think there will be big restructuration in the digital identity of a lot of companies after the pandemic and that from now on, the online component of businesses will be done with more attention and care than before.

A Boom in Digital Entertainment

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen quite a few new ways to get entertained digitally. From Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert to the hundreds of zoom workouts offered every day, we are seeing a whole new form of day to day entertainment. I believe this form of entertainment will be greatly explored in future years. No more need to rush in the mornings or after work to get to a workout class; you can just tune into a zoom call from the comfort of your own home. Even better: you can even just order a Peloton bike and do full spin classes at home. You also don’t have to go squeeze yourself in a crowd to see half of an artist’s head perform live. You can now tune in to a live stream to see that artist perform. We also saw new social apps like Houseparty which focuses on the entertaining social connexions online. I believe this is just the beginning of seeing this type of entertainment.

Hopefully this made you think a bit about what the post-coronavirus era will look like!