Life after COVID-19? Throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic we have all been wondering when we will go back to normal. Many specialists argue that this will depend on the availability of an effective vaccine in sufficient numbers. While this gives us a rough time frame, most visionaries are already pondering, what that new normal will be like. As all agree, ‘normal’ will not refer to the ‘normal before COVID-19’. So perhaps the more important question is what the new normal will look like? Most probably not like the old pre-corona normal. The changes will come in steps as the emergency measures are being lifted. We will probably see various shades of “normal” over the coming months.
It will take a while until we go back to “normal”
Speaking with LinkedIn editor-in-chief Daniel Roth on “This Is Working“, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates himself shed some light on his opinion of life after COVID-19. Gates said it will be a while before many things get back to normal. While some things may open up before summer, there will still be a ban on most events. This will not only affect the entertainment industry, but also the hospitality and travel industries for many months to come.
Bill Gates agreed that life after COVID-19 will never be the same. The pandemic forces us to push things digitally: virtual meetings, virtual business trips, virtual shareholder meetings, virtual press conferences, virtual concerts, you get the picture. So while this is dire news for some sectors like the travel and hospitality industry, it also bears some noticeable benefits for enterprises. Replacing meetings and trips offers a bunch of potential benefits. Saving time to get to a meeting, saving the hassle of commuting in heavy traffic, and of course improving the ecological footprint by reducing or even eliminating travel-related emissions. Just imagine the reduction in CO2 that we could achieve if world leaders would meet virtually instead of flying private planes to DAVOS. And we haven’t even mentioned the huge amount of money that could be saved.
Life after COVID-19 and the shift towards the digital workspaces
Regulators will have to answer a lot of unanswered legal questions around the shift towards digital workspaces. Some countries have changed their rules temporarily to accommodate the crisis. Austria, for example, allows virtual shareholder meetings, until the end of this year. Labor regulations and related laws, as well as insurance issues when working remotely need an adaption too. Once regulators realize the huge economical and ecological potential, they will catch up with this disruption for good.
Technology and – surprisingly – infrastructure too have shown they are ready for life after COVID-19. Cloud-based video-conferencing as a service like eyeson will be fundamental for this transition as it allows SMEs to be included by offering low entry costs and quick & easy deployment. At the same time, it can easily fill big international conglomerates’ needs through scalability and a flat learning curve. New features like live streaming via RTMP will open up the possibility for even more new applications.