Covid, something that has impacted all of us. We started by reading about this mysterious virus in China that very quickly landed on our doorsteps. It’s changed how we live and interact with each other, it’s changed how we work, it’s changed how we behave and it will change how the future is shaped. Doc Brown once said “the future isn’t written yet, so make it a good one”. I hear many thoughts on how Covid is going to write our future, how we will never go back to the way things were. Well, with or without Covid, things never go back to the way things were so that is not something to be afraid of. Things like the motor car scared people. It went so fast and why would people ever need to be in such a hurry? The TV and then the Internet changed how we communicate and how information (or disinformation) can be spread. Yes Covid will have an impact on how the future is written but it will not write the future on it’s own! There will be a vaccine and there will be more Covid’s. There will be more motorcars and Internet game changing moments. All these will help form the future but we are the ones who will write the future.
Working life will not go back to how it was. Even though people have short memories I can’t see a 100% office based company anymore. Flexible working will become the new norm. There will be offices but people will hot-desk and switch between the office and home. This is a good thing. It promotes the flexible working that we have been striving for (and some untrusting managers who fight against it). Enabling and empowering working parents without the concern that working from home and being flexible could somehow disadvantage them. We will go back to the office, let’s face it, there are some clients I couldn’t see me inviting back to mine for a meeting on my sofa (some might prefer it though). We need the water cooler chat and the after work beer to break down the social barriers. We can try all we like to have Zoom coffee events but they will never replace the benefits of a face to face get to know you. We didn’t need Covid to find this out. Why do you think we get on a plane to visit clients and build these relationships. It makes them stronger. When you get to know someone, see how they treat the waiter, see how they act when they are tired or have a beer or 2, it tells you more about the person than 30 mins on a video chat.
Another interesting Covid Moment is cash. BC (Before Covid) cash was fading out, albeit slowly. There were campaigns in place to make sure cash machines didn’t vanish along with the ever diminishing number of banks. Suddenly everywhere I go it’s card only. No one wants to deal with dirty coins and the risk they bring of carrying germs. Sadly a reason we campaigned to keep cash was for the older generation who might not use cards. Sadly, the older generation might still be using cash, carrying germs, or Covid. There’s an idea. The campaigns shouldn’t be about keeping cash for the older generation the campaigns should be about getting cards into the hands of the older generation so they can be safer (any volunteers to run that please?)
It will be nice when I can greet someone again without it feeling like a scene out of Mortal Kombat. Both wearing masks with arms flailing around like Scorpion while we try and work out if we are going to fist pump or touch elbows or both (AKA spear or leg takedown).
The masks will subside (and I can’t wait). Hopefully humanity comes out of this with a more responsible sense of hygiene. Hopefully we can appreciate the fragility of the world and do more as a collective to help it. It will be nice to walk around and be able to see people smiling again. When Covid is under control we can reclaim what was great about the world and improve on it with what we have learnt during these times. We will have a greater understanding, and hopefully a greater sense of appreciation and responsibility for the world and each other.
The future isn’t written yet and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Covid write it. Humanity will write it together, so let’s make it a good one!