What a time to be alive!
The coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on all of us. Thousands and thousands of people have lost their jobs and many self-employed workers’ incomes have taken a hit.
A lot of us thought there is a specific time allocation to us being under lockdown but as we are seeing this will continue for more than just 5 weeks. Even those who are now finding themselves back at the office, things may have changed dramatically for them as well. Working from home has become the norm for many, and employees at some companies have already been told this will carry on for at least the next two months.
Meanwhile, physical distancing measures are likely to remain for many more months and a whole swathe of events, from holidays to festivals to weddings, has been cancelled. And behind all of this is a virus that can be deadly. Here are some things that will definitely change as we look forward to the new normal
1. Workplaces will be safe and cleaner
Certain rules need to be put in place now for employees returning to work, such as staggered shifts, employee temperature checks, and top-to-bottom disinfections of workplace, tools, and machinery. CEO’s have implemented a variety of protocols to promote social distancing and employee health, a 100% mask and glove policy, and well-stocked handwashing stations, etc
2. Social distancing is the new norm
The current emphasis on social distancing at workplaces will likely continue even after the current health threat passes, 1.5 metres away, being at the office, retail store, grocery store, etc make sure you keep yourself 1.5 metres away from others.
3. Reduced costs
If you have a mortgage and have taken a three-month payment holiday, there are also other options available to borrowers, either now or at the end of the holiday. Two of the main ones are temporarily switching to interest-only payments and increasing the length of the mortgage term. Both will reduce your monthly payments but there’s a price to pay. For example, increasing the mortgage term will ultimately mean paying a lot more interest. Some may say they have saved on petrol costs and transport costs but are spending more on food as they are home.
4. Remote work will be more common
Forced to stay at home, many office employees have kept business operations running via remote work, relying on technology like videoconferencing, emailing, and texting to stay in touch. A recent study found that 74% of companies will move at least 5% of their office workforce to permanently remote and nearly a quarter of respondents said they will move at least 20% to permanently remote positions.
5. Demand for project types will change
The coronavirus outbreak has reshaped the types of projects that will be built this year and for many years to come. Hospitality, retail, and entertainment projects are likely to be in less demand while healthcare construction and healthcare-related manufacturing projects could see more activity, Experts are divided on how infrastructure initiatives will fare soon, with some noting that projects like road and bridge construction could suffer as countries revenue declines because of decreased fuel tax revenues and as Parliament turns its attention to COVID-19 mitigation measures for business and unemployed South Africans.