Navigating current times can be more than tricky. There seems to be constant changes in regulations, restrictions, and even trends.
As things are shifting in our society and on the planet, it can be helpful to plan and prepare for the possible futures that may eventuate. Here are five predictions of what will likely follow the COVID-19 global pandemic; an extended new era of social distance, virtual existence, and increased sustainability.
Local First Approach
According to KPMG, international governments will strengthen their ‘local first’ stance on commerce and trade post-COVID-19. They will look for greater self-sufficiency and internal resilience, striking a balance between our unique capabilities as nations and supporting a global outlook. KPMG suggests that sectors such as agriculture, medical supplies/equipment, advanced manufacturing, and education will receive a boost that will trigger a local innovation boom once investment capital returns. This will no doubt see both large corporations and emerging startups looking to find solutions for local long-term production.
Lower Profits But More Stability
According to Shannon K. O’Neil in Foreign Policy, COVID-19 is undermining the foundations of global manufacturing, which will force companies to restructure and minimise their multistep, multinational supply chains that dominate global production today. O’Neil predicts this will lead governments to intervene in private sector strategies, forcing essential industries to have domestic backup plans and reserves. He believes this change of outlook will result in the fall of corporate profitability being the key driver behind shareholder decision-making. Instead, stability will rise as the new marker of success and therefore sought after investment opportunities.
Increased Remote Work
According to Emma Rose Bienvenu in Medium’s Marker, remote work will soon become the default for most industries. She argues that employees who are now working from home due to necessity are finding the experience gives them greater flexibility, productivity, and cuts down commute time. Bienvenu predicts that many workplaces and businesses will find it difficult to deny employees flexible options when the crisis recedes. She says that remote work technology will rise to the occasion to improve the viability of new and improved mixed of working methods. Bienvenu also believes these technologies will negate the need for much business based travel, with companies instead investing in international virtual communication.
According to a recent study by IBM that was designed to understand how COVID-19 has affected American consumerism, contactless retail options are here to stay. The study that polled more than 25,000 U.S. adults showed that nearly 40 percent of consumers are likely to use contactless payment options via their mobile device or credit card when shopping, with more than 75 percent of respondents indicating that they are only visiting stores to buy essential goods such as food and cleaning goods. The study also revealed that 25 percent of respondents are choosing to shop more often at locally owned stores and buying more local made, grown or sourced products.
Faster Shift To Renewables
Isolation and lockdown measures taken to stop the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a massive drop in energy demand worldwide. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), with roughly one-third of the world’s population in some form of lockdown, there will be a 6 percent decline in energy demand over the year, making it the biggest drop since World War II. However, the great news is that during this plunge in energy demand, renewables have emerged as the most cost-effective and resilient form of energy. As such, according to the IEA, the demand for clean power is actually increasing. IEA says the energy industry that will emerge from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before, with traditional fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas finding themselves squeezed between low overall power demand and increasing output from renewables. Renewable energy is expected to grow by 5 percent this year, to make up almost 30 percent of the world’s declining demand for electricity. Due to this, energy-related carbon emissions are predicted to fall to their lowest levels since 2010. If the full predictions play out, we will be seeing the largest annual decrease on record. (Just quietly from me … YAY.)
Matisse Walkden-Brown, Fishburners