In the last few weeks, we experienced our whole world coming to a hold. Most of us stopped going out: no visits to friends, no daily commute on highly congested roads, no quick weekend trips. Our lives slowed down, and the focus shifted.
The question we are all asking is: how will our world be when we return to “normality”? And how will we define normality in the future? As bad as the situation is for many, it also has a few upsides: a lot of processes have been shifted online – no more standing in line for so many tasks. Several have tried online grocery shopping for the first time and realised how easy and convenient this is. Will you keep up this new behaviour or go back racing after work to the supermarket, trying to find a parking slot and navigating through the congested aisles, just to wait 10 minutes at the check-out? A lot of people also started with a new routine having a daily walk in their neighbourhood – properly discovering things they have not noticed before. The home office has become a new reality for a lot of employees too. We all must admit that we miss the social contact and getting out of the house – but at the other side it is rather convenient, and a lot of work gets done. Probably a good number of employees will ask if in the future they can continue working partly from home. This will also have a drastic impact on the use of our cars. The less we use our own private vehicle the more each trip will cost. What we expect is that there will be a shift to alternative mobility solutions, as people will start doing the maths.
Even though the pandemic is a major economic set-back, we believe that people are not sitting idle at home. Numerous new ideas and businesses will be developed while you read this article. Technologies for logistics and mobility solutions will be fast-forwarded. Let’s think about drone deliveries. How convenient would it be if a drone would drop off at the top of your roof the new PlayStation you have just ordered from Amazon? Many major retail and logistics companies around the world are already testing drone delivery services to solve the problem of “last mile” deliveries. Shipping costs would go down, which would reduce the cost to the end-user. Deliveries would turn up faster, which will be appreciated by customers. Of course, there are also voices against drone deliveries with delivery people standing to lose their jobs. But ultimately we are likely to see drone deliveries introduced sooner rather than later.
COVID-19 has changed the world – not only for the worse. Let’s make the most of our time to rethink, rework and plan our future. This is our chance to change our behaviours towards a more sustainable future and be open for change and new challenges.
Written by Nicoletta Moss
Images: Forbes Magazine – Getty Images; FlyNex GmbH