New normal

Throughout the COVID 19 restriction period I have spent a lot of time working on the back end of our business so we can spring out of the blocks as things head back towards some normality. I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking what the new normal will look like.

I’m fascinated with human behavioural patterns and the psychology behind those actions. Often changes in behavioural patterns occur through necessity (like with CV19) sometimes through a new technology (think iPhones) or just a more efficient way of doing things (email instead of postage).

As we are social animals, in the main, we follow the behaviour of the herd and the herd tends to follow the path of least resistance. In other words, we tend to take the easiest path to get what we want or need to achieve. With this in mind, I believe the thing that will change the most from this crisis will be the way many of us will meet and interact at work.

The Zoom meeting phenomenon will change many workplaces and the expectation that we have to meet in person for it to be a trustworthy encounter, will continue to dissipate.

This flows on to many changes. Flexibility of workplace which then facilitates more flexible work hours is a big change in attitude from the employers needing to see “bums on seats”. This is a step forward for those juggling young families and those who commute significant distances to work. We will see less office space requirements, especially retail office space and less business travel. This will not be driven by employees, it will be driven by employers looking to reduce business overheads.

However, with these changes will also come an expectation of more immediate online responses. Where customers or work colleagues had an expectation to wait for a physical meeting because we could only be in one place at a time, now they will want to interact at the click of a button. In a response to this we, for instance, have just installed Live Chat on both our website and our Facebook page.

Another casualty of CV19 will be cash. Cash will almost certainly disappear at some point as more businesses refuse to accept it. Both for hygiene and convenience. Welcome to the new normal.

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