Things will change in the future
5 predictions for the future after the coronavirus
The coronavirus has permanently changed our society. Even if we partially return to normal in the coming weeks and months, the changes will remain. Five predictions for the time after the Covid-19 pandemic.
I'm just thinking back to January this year. The new year has just started and the Covid-19 pandemic does not yet play a role in Germany. Everything runs its course. The economy is booming and politics is spreading a good mood.
A few weeks later everything is different: exit restrictions, economic worries, people with masks. Now it's slowly going back to normal. But what is the new "normal"? The following five predictions are based on my observations and discussions with my clients.
1. Administration is going digital
The pandemic in Germany has shown how the digitization of the administration is doing: not good. Authorities are inaccessible or difficult to access. Citizens can sometimes not use the services of the administration because personal contact is required, which is currently not allowed.
Even simple processes such as re-registering cars or registering residences are only possible digitally in exceptional cases. But that will change. That is the first of my predictions.
Because the citizens have now seen where the deficits lie. The assertions of the past such as “We are making good progress with the digitization of the administration” turned out to be a farce. Citizens will no longer accept that in the future.
2. Business meetings become virtual
There are a large number of buildings in Germany that are used as places for holding meetings and conferences.
The pandemic has shown that online meetings serve their purpose. They even have advantages over face-to-face meetings: there is no need to travel. This saves time and costs. The organization of meetings is easier because the question of the physical size of a room and the catering no longer arises.
And even the spontaneous use of other rooms for one-on-one meetings is possible online without any problems. These are all immense benefits that the last few weeks have made clear.
This is not good news for conference center operators as customers will not be returning in the same crowd as they were before the crisis.
3. Advice requires new skills
Personal meetings and a lot of paper - this is what typical consultations often looked like. This applies to the legal area, the tax area, the financial area and many other sectors as well.
However, the limited personal contact in combination with the continuing need for advice in certain areas requires new skills from the relevant service providers.
This will improve the flow of information: data must be sent, signed and forwarded without manipulation being possible. This requires the knowledge and use of a variety of new tools, because customers will dictate what to use.
However, the way in which customers are addressed is also changing. Because face-to-face meetings with potential customers will become less common. Customers have learned that virtual contact is not as strange or uncomfortable as always thought.
Chatbots and videos are being used more and more, and general media skills are improving.
4. Communication will be rethought
How do we communicate? The pandemic has shown that communication is an essential element of our lives. But the way we communicate so far has been relatively one-dimensional. After all, human-to-human communication dominated almost exclusively.
That will change in the future. When people move communication and interaction to virtual spaces in the future, the question arises whether real people are still needed to be present there.
The question also arises as to whether these people - whether real or avatars - carry out human communication or are controlled by computers. The programming of avatars in particular can ensure that several things are carried out by people or their images at the same time.
Using these possibilities requires completely new skills. This applies to both the use of computers and the interaction with the other person.
5. Entertainment is becoming multidimensional
We like to be entertained and distracted. This shows the increased usage of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus in the last few weeks.
In the future, watching films will no longer require going to the cinema. This is especially true when cinemas are no longer needed for a release. The pandemic has shown that it is wonderful to be entertained at home.
That is why what is offered in cinemas will change. Just sitting in an armchair and watching a film on the screen is no longer attractive. Therefore, the range of multi-sensory offers will increase. That is the last of my predictions.
Specifically, this is the integration of scent, movements including consequences such as wind simulation and special sound systems. This is how the cinema experience will be different from the home theater.
And it will go on. Because in the future it will be possible to immerse yourself in the film experience, up to the feeling of hugs or touches.
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Outlook and forecasts: we take advantage of the opportunities!
I recently wrote that the pandemic offers great opportunities. In the meantime I am convinced: We will use this. The implementation of the options that were only considered sporadically a few weeks ago will accelerate tremendously. The changes will be impressive.
I don't want to rule out that the Covid-19 pandemic will be seen as a catalyst for great change in a couple of years. Let's be surprised - I'm looking forward to it!
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