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Thread: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

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    Default Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Of the changes or trends we see right now as a result of Covid, which ones do you think will be sticky, and which will fairly rapidly revert back to the previous norm?

    Like during the last recession, there's a spate of articles circulating making the claim that American society is being drastically remade forever. I'll admit that I have my doubts this time, largely because last recession the changes were short lived. By 2012, American society looked a whole lot like the America of 2007 again. Is this time different, and, if so, why?

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    I think the airline business will take a long time to recover, if it does. It may well emerge much smaller as people realize 5 trips per year to Vegas, Punta Cana and Orlando aren’t actually that necessary. And business travel is down literally 90+%. Much of that was semi-frivolous as well. Zoom changes things.

    My own break from flying starts Sept. 2. It’s voluntary and temporary (I hope) but it’s a big change in my life at least.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Young people will have even less trust in the government and educational institutions than their parents and rightfully so, given the inept, uncoordinated and selfish manner in which federal, state and local governments are handling the pandemic. The effects will trickle down through their lifetime of spending, saving and decision making...I see it in my kids already.
    rw saunders
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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    RIP American Bicycle Road Racing

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Young people will have even less trust in the government and educational institutions than their parents and rightfully so, given the inept, uncoordinated and selfish manner in which federal, state and local governments are handling the pandemic. The effects will trickle down through their lifetime of spending, saving and decision making...I see it in my kids already.
    Good point, and they've been given good reasons.

    I'll add that one enduring impact of the last shock/recession was that I think it made people more insular, more tribal, more selfish, and less public spirited. And when people feel like they're getting continually screwed, it's unfortunate but understandable that their worldview narrows.

    One of the major tasks ahead seems to be rebuilding a sense of the common good.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    I think the airline business will take a long time to recover, if it does.
    Airline industry will rebound fairly quickly. I know a lot of smart folks are betting on it but most importantly, there will be a lot of pent up demand.

    I don't think much will change long term. Working remotely will remain short term as work productivity declines (once C19 anxiety dissipates) will force everyone back into their cubicles.

    All this of course depends on C19 vaccine success in early '21 followed by high vaccination rates.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by suspectdevice View Post
    RIP American Bicycle Road Racing
    Justin Williams has netted over $120k via a gofundme he setup in early June. I don't know if that's a sign of enthusiasm people have for bike racing in America, or something else.
    -Dustin

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by sine View Post
    Working remotely will remain short term as work productivity declines (once C19 anxiety dissipates) will force everyone back into their cubicles.
    I work for a large financial organization where the majority of our customer facing personnel were in call centres. I've been privy to some discussions as to the cost savings and I would tend to disagree. Offsetting the cost to provide a laptop, technology like VPN software and a monthly 'stipend' to compensate for a person to use their own internet service against the costs to maintain a facility the savings is overwhelming. From property taxes, to both internal and external maintenance and repair, custodial, heat/light/water, security, food service, furniture replacement the monthly cost/unit headcount is a tiny fraction for Work From Home (WFH) vs having employess in dedicated facilities. Our absentee rate is also way down, probably because people figure they can still pull on the headset with the sniffles where before they would call in sick and that positively contributes to productivity.

    Productivity and tracking software is so much better than before that all the metrics we were getting before with people in the centre are still available to us. And the final thing, this workforce is younger and more used to using a computer to work remotely. They did it through their college educations and see this as a continuation. Saving on the cost to commute, park and going to the Tim Horton's in the building is a strong weekly incentive for a person to fully embrace the WFH experience. If anything it's the old guys like me who are having a hard time understanding that a shirt and tie are not necessary to go to work.

    With net savings like these it's in the company's best interest to encourage WFH and for the workers to eagerly embrace it.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    This is a super interesting question. Human nature is hard to budge and people forget a lot of things. Add, after a 2021 vaccine, warm weather, beer on draft, someone else serving you a meal, and seeing everyone's smiling faces and that might frustrate the notion of major ructions in the way people do things. I wouldn't bet on people doing a lot of business travel in the long run, though. I think the "experience" type travel industry mightl get a boost in the short term (Airbnb), renting a camper, outdoor sports, etc., but I would think rebound will be slower for hotels and airlines.
    Last edited by zambenini; 08-17-2020 at 01:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    I'll continue to wear a face mask on planes, trains, and mass transit (assuming I ever feel it is safe to get back on it for commuting to work).

    I have been wearing a face mask on planes, trains, and mass transit for several years well before C19 (yes, I am that guy). Simply, people do not respect others and get on all forms of mass transportation when they are sick and often have a fever. I have no desire to be sick all the time because others refuse to vaccinate, get flu shots, and stay home when they are sick so they do not risk infecting everyone else. For me, C19 proved how selfish people can be when they know they are sick and will most probably infect others.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by Bingissimo View Post
    I work for a large financial organization where the majority of our customer facing personnel were in call centres. I've been privy to some discussions as to the cost savings and I would tend to disagree. Offsetting the cost to provide a laptop, technology like VPN software and a monthly 'stipend' to compensate for a person to use their own internet service against the costs to maintain a facility the savings is overwhelming. From property taxes, to both internal and external maintenance and repair, custodial, heat/light/water, security, food service, furniture replacement the monthly cost/unit headcount is a tiny fraction for Work From Home (WFH) vs having employess in dedicated facilities. Our absentee rate is also way down, probably because people figure they can still pull on the headset with the sniffles where before they would call in sick and that positively contributes to productivity.

    Productivity and tracking software is so much better than before that all the metrics we were getting before with people in the centre are still available to us. And the final thing, this workforce is younger and more used to using a computer to work remotely. They did it through their college educations and see this as a continuation. Saving on the cost to commute, park and going to the Tim Horton's in the building is a strong weekly incentive for a person to fully embrace the WFH experience. If anything it's the old guys like me who are having a hard time understanding that a shirt and tie are not necessary to go to work.

    With net savings like these it's in the company's best interest to encourage WFH and for the workers to eagerly embrace it.
    Agreed. I work in technology and my company went full time remote in a very short period of time (days). Though there are some scenarios where being in the office would be better, the pros of remote work (flexibility, work-life balance, cost savings you mention, environmental, etc.) outweigh the cons (mostly just not giving someone a firm handshake, if that's your style). I'm sure I'll eventually be back in an office for a meeting, but I don't see myself permanently going back to work in a shared workspace ever again. I certainly wouldn't take a job where that was the expectation. I've felt this way from a personal point of view as an employee for a long time. But this situation has started to bring my company around to the same points of view and in my role as a leader, I'm more convinced than ever that my team can be as successful, or more, working remotely than they were coming into the office.
    "I guess you're some weird relic of an obsolete age." - davids

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    In the short term, I foresee a major up tick in cyber crimes. Both commercial and personal ID stuff.
    Retail (brick and mortar) may never return - hopefully, people realize they shouldn't spend the dollar they thought was coming. We'll be a bit more cautious regarding future expenditures.
    As said above, office rentals will be drastically reduced. This will be caused by businesses realizing they can still get work done and employees fighting back because they've settled into new norm.
    On the positive side, I'd like to see a continuation of decreased pollutants. And an increase in the desire for people to return to nature.
    Rick Stubblefield

    If the process is more important than the result, you play. If the result is more important than the process, you work.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Concierge "at home" experience / services. Hello.

    This most certainly is part of the WFH predictions.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    I think the brick and mortar retail industry may be on the chopping block. Although I think it was trending that way before Covid19. I think the Rona gave it a push in that direction. I noticed in Fall of 2018 in Venice the canals were full of barges with Amazon boxes stacked pretty high. I notice all the Amazon boxes at our cardboard recycle bin. (we have to take our cardboard to the recycle gathering center)

    I have a nephew and several friends in the IT, computer program design and writing code that have been working from home the last 5 months and pretty much all agree that the companies they work for may close the fancy building and just rent/lease meeting space a couple days a month for actual face to face when this Covid19 thing is over. Or have small group meetings at a hotel business center. They all have super secure encoded laptops. But cyber security is going to be interesting. And commercial realestate will probably make some changes. Also if they have fast enough connections I see people leaving big cities and looking at Mountain West locations. (oh crap our real estate prices are way high as it is) My neph thinks he could do his IT job remotely and pay his own flights back to LA the couple times a month they would really need him. (he can stay free with family in LA) Gaining 2hr a day commute time back as productive work time and not having the wear and tear/gas/vehicle expense would more than pay for a couple plane tickets.

    I am hoping people that were bored at home and took up bike riding in town may consider commuting to work when they go back by bike.

    Not sure what International travel and the air line industry will look like. But it will be much different in any configuration after this gets all sorted out I believe. Have to wait and see.

    Professional/college sports may change some. Not sure what or why, but I probably will gain a free 5 hours a week not watching football this fall. Didn't miss the NBA NHL championships and am not watching NBA, MLB, Euro Football or Hockey this summer. Did miss the Spring Classics and the Tour/Giro this year.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    I recently re-signed the 2-year lease to my office. Of course, the building owner wanted to raise the lease by five percent from the previous agreement. I recall saying something like:

    "Oh, I could agree to that increase. Or we could leave the price as is. Or, I could not re-sign at all, move out tomorrow and continue to work from home, as I've been doing the last four months, indefinitely now that all major insurance companies have to reimburse in full for telehealth services. Whaddya think?"

    For in-office mental health providers (at all levels, from LCMHC's to LICSW's to psychologists to psychiatrists), this is a game-changer.

    FWIW, I decided to re-sign at the same price. Some days I like getting out of my spare bedroom.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    My company has not reopened offices since March. Management has said they're interested in implementing long term work from home for those employees who want it. Most people seem to prefer working from home. I know I do.

    We had some summer interns for the last few month. They're already pros at this distance working business. They're able to read the room without a problem. I think the 20-somethings coming into the office workforce are going to expect work from home... and they're good at it. If I were a student fresh out of college, opportunity to work from home would definitely be something I'd consider before accepting a position.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by defspace View Post
    My company has not reopened offices since March. Management has said they're interested in implementing long term work from home for those employees who want it. Most people seem to prefer working from home. I know I do.

    We had some summer interns for the last few month. They're already pros at this distance working business. They're able to read the room without a problem. I think the 20-somethings coming into the office workforce are going to expect work from home... and they're good at it. If I were a student fresh out of college, opportunity to work from home would definitely be something I'd consider before accepting a position.
    It's also worth noting that candidate pools and, conversely, company pools get much bigger when people are essentially full-time remote. Even when my office was operating normally pre-COVID I started including remote candidates for all open positions and it's been great having a broader market to recruit in.
    "I guess you're some weird relic of an obsolete age." - davids

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by Moke View Post
    Gaining 2hr a day commute time back as productive work time ...
    Am I reading this correctly? Because if I am I'm concerned that some company bigwigs somewhere might see that time now available to you as 'productive work time' for them, effectively arguing that since you're not stuck in your car on the 405 from 6:30 until 8 every morning and from 5 to 7 every evening you can now use that some of that time for work. It's not like those hours were available to you anyway, you couldn't read a book or take a pottery class or *gasp* sneak in a quick 40K in that commute time anyway. So you should be working. I haven't seen this yet but this is still early days.

    The 40 hour workweek is not cast in stone, in many places it's more or less 100 years old. I'm waiting for employers to use the argument that since they are providing you the opportunity and technology for WFH and if that results in 2 or 3 hours less in commuting how can you begrudge them asking to share back some of that time to the company? Unpaid. It's not like the trend hadn't already started with company provided cell phones and the requirement for those to be on and for employees to be available for calls/emails all hours of the day, weekends included now that one is untethered from the desk.

    North Americans, and those in the USA more specifically have seen a rise in unpaid O/T and the inability to use all of their paid vacation days in recent years, this WFH thing has the potential to make it worse.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by Bingissimo View Post
    Am I reading this correctly? Because if I am I'm concerned that some company bigwigs somewhere might see that time now available to you as 'productive work time' for them, effectively arguing that since you're not stuck in your car on the 405 from 6:30 until 8 every morning and from 5 to 7 every evening you can now use that some of that time for work. It's not like those hours were available to you anyway, you couldn't read a book or take a pottery class or *gasp* sneak in a quick 40K in that commute time anyway. So you should be working. I haven't seen this yet but this is still early days.

    The 40 hour workweek is not cast in stone, in many places it's more or less 100 years old. I'm waiting for employers to use the argument that since they are providing you the opportunity and technology for WFH and if that results in 2 or 3 hours less in commuting how can you begrudge them asking to share back some of that time to the company? Unpaid. It's not like the trend hadn't already started with company provided cell phones and the requirement for those to be on and for employees to be available for calls/emails all hours of the day, weekends included now that one is untethered from the desk.

    North Americans, and those in the USA more specifically have seen a rise in unpaid O/T and the inability to use all of their paid vacation days in recent years, this WFH thing has the potential to make it worse.
    Yeah, I think that's the dystopian version.

    From my own experience, saving about 60-90 mins a day, I find that I give more effort/time to the company while simultaneously having more time/flexibility for myself. I'm happy to make that trade. I've heard similar impressions from others.
    Maybe it comes down to company culture*, but I don't feel pressured to work more because I'm at home, but it's easier to work a bit extra when it's right there. I've made a voluntary decision to knock out 30 mins after dinner a few times, or an hour or two on the weekend. Not because I feel pressured to do so, but because I know I'm making it easier on myself come Monday. The edges are a bit blurred, definitely.

    Because I work from home, I'm also working from the gym. I did some barbell work over lunch, ate lunch at my computer, pulled on the logo polo when I had a video call with clients. Good day.

    * my department head sends me links to order gym equipment any time he finds something on sale. I guess my point is that if it's been lousy working for a company at the office, it very well may be lousy working for them at home. We've dealt with it gracefully and enthusiastically and it's been really cool.

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    Default Re: Changes that will be sticky & changes that will snap back post-pandemic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ras72 View Post
    In the short term, I foresee a major up tick in cyber crimes. Both commercial and personal ID stuff.
    Retail (brick and mortar) may never return - hopefully, people realize they shouldn't spend the dollar they thought was coming. We'll be a bit more cautious regarding future expenditures.
    As said above, office rentals will be drastically reduced. This will be caused by businesses realizing they can still get work done and employees fighting back because they've settled into new norm.
    On the positive side, I'd like to see a continuation of decreased pollutants. And an increase in the desire for people to return to nature.
    I've been one of 'em! Had a bogus unemployment benefits application and Discover card application made with my info. Thankfully all my paranoid ID theft protections did their job.
    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Concierge "at home" experience / services. Hello.

    This most certainly is part of the WFH predictions.
    Yep, my partner has an acquaintance who does concierge pet services as a side gig. She's struggling to keep up with demand.
    How much to have a real pro come and lube my chain with NFS the right way?

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