With the UK and many other countries around the world in lockdown to try and prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it can seem like a pretty bleak time to be alive. But I’ve been thinking about some of the potential positives that could emerge from this pandemic that would benefit society as a whole.
Working from home will become more widely embraced
For jobs that people are doing at home during the pandemic, Employers will realise that they get the same if not better results from the employees that are remote working. Companies will realise that they can save money by scaling back the size of offices and allowing people to work from home.
After the pandemic, the office can become somewhere you can work from every day, if you like the company of others and the focus of the office environment. Or you can just pop in occasionally for meetings and catch ups.
Flexible work schedules
When companies allow people to work from home they need to trust their employees to manage their own workload. This leads to happier and more productive employees, and better retention. A natural result of this trust is that the employee can set their own work hours.
Companies will look at results rather than hours worked
This is a natural progression from flexible working. Where it makes sense, companies will stop worrying about how many hours their employees are working, and instead look at the results they’re getting for the company. This is a win for the company, managers can spend less time micromanaging and more time setting the higher level goals and direction for teams in the company.
NHS will get the funding it deserves
The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.1
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives. It’s a classic Boris Johnson tagline. Its memorable, the order of the sentences doesn’t even matter!. Let’s hope it’s as effective as his previous ones.
The NHS is under a huge amount of pressure currently, and the government are now asking for 250,000 volunteers to help the 1.5 million people who have been told to self isolate for 12 weeks. Let’s hope this all leads to the NHS getting the funding it needs and deserves to become a thriving first class national health system. Or at least moves things in that direction.
Climate will benefit from the reduction in activity
There’s already evidence2 that the coronavirus pandemic is having positive effects on the environment. Let’s hope scientists are able to get enough data to prove that the benefits of human (in)action during the pandemic helped to slow or even reverse climate change.
Home delivery from supermarkets will be more common
This will help keep cars off the road. Getting your shopping delivered is better for the environment than driving to the supermarket. One van can deliver multiple people’s shopping, which means quieter roads and fewer emissions.
Veg box delivery schemes will see a boost in numbers
More people will see the benefits of getting delicious, local, organic produce from the various veg box delivery schemes that are currently seeing unprecedented demand. Because these schemes are local and delivered to your door these schemes are also good for fighting climate change.
People take up running
This is one of the very few remaining sports that people can now do outside their house for their daily exercise. I was very sceptical about running for many years, but I started running in almost two years ago and can’t understand why I didn’t start sooner. It’s a great way to build up a sweat and let your brain go onto autopilot for a bit. Running is well known for it’s benefits to mental health as well as physical health, and in these testing times anything that helps with our mental health is welcome.
Video calls with family more frequent
Outside of work I haven’t been a huge video call user until now. But I’ve used it multiple times in the past few days to let our daughter talk to her grandparents while we’re in lockdown. While video calling still has its flaws, it’s a great way to keep in touch with people you’re unable to see. Hopefully this will mean more people staying in touch via video call in the future.