With so much extra time on our hands, it is only human to try and imagine what the future holds for ourselves and our planet as we emerge from this pandemic. Many topics such as the state of the economy have enjoyed much expert opinion, a few of the softer, but equally important, issues have not received as much scrutiny.
A lockdown state of mind
By the time we ‘get out of jail’, chances are that most of us will have had more time for self-reflection and the opportunity to reconsider our values – those that matter in a time of crisis.
Human interactions have historically relied on contact, connection and trust to flourish. But these qualities have now all been brought into question. Touch is going to be a big issue going forward. With no-touch, stay-2m-apart office environments, work from home policies and video call social interactions, we sure are going to miss that firm handshake – the very foundation of our economies. As for the comforting or loving hug, how will we ever be able to replace it? We won’t even be touching the same access code touchpads, let alone each other.
As for dating, there must be a virus-testing opportunity in this for some entrepreneur. We guess it also heralds the end of many a casual romantic encounter.
Because the physical touch part of our lives may be forever altered, it is crucial that we find other meaningful ways in which to reconnect with friends and colleagues. The content and tone of our communication will become increasingly more important as it is more difficult to sense emotion via digital communication. How we say what we’re saying will become vital. Unless it is an often-meaningless emoji, you can’t see a smile via email.
Ironically, even though we will have less human interaction, pundits predict that people will emerge from this situation with a more compassionate mind-set. An ‘Us’ approach as opposed to the ‘Me, Me, Me’ attitude which tends to be the dominant driver of so many western economies.
People and governments will have to reconsider their priorities and move from a fight-or-flight attitude to embrace higher human qualities such as kindness and inclusiveness. The ‘them’ and ‘us’ approach will in many parts of the world (not necessarily in one of the most significant economies in the west!) make way for peace and acceptance of other’s differences. Leaders will elect to make decisions aimed at preventing economic collapse as opposed to decisions that purely promote personal gain.
Financial insecurity will be the order of the day for years to come. Previously, financial security was tied to the extent of one’s wealth. But what is that ‘wealth’ worth if money becomes meaningless? There are no winners in an economic collapse. McKinsey & Company have predicted close on 200 million job losses in the second quarter of 2020.
Our conclusion: the word ‘wealth’ may come to take on a whole new meaning as we dig deep to put humanity front and centre again. Be kind.
Sales and Business Development Executive at Altron Bytes Managed Solutions
How will you manage a balance of technology and human interaction in your business?
Altron Bytes Managed Solutions
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PO Box 3591, Johannesburg, 2000,
Gauteng, South Africa
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