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Webrain Reports Archive

#214 – The New Normal: The Social Distancing Economy

The coronavirus pandemic that swept the globe in 2020 dramatically affected how people work and interact with each other. Social distance was introduced as a key method to slow the spread of the virus, even though it had a staggering impact on everything from interpersonal relationships to global economics. In a very short timeframe, “business as usual” was radically altered as huge segments of the workforce had to adapt to a work-from-home lifestyle.

Had this same pandemic unfolded even just 20 years ago, we would have been ill-equipped to make a sudden shift to remote work, remote sales, virtual event platforms, distance entertainment, and distance learning. Fortunately, however, modern technology provides many effective ways to mitigate this situation. As “Disaster Capitalism” kicks in, some companies temporarily disregard ROI and privacy concerns by providing specialized new products and services that save people during a crisis.

But even with the best tech, requiring physical distance between people can introduce complexities that are difficult to overcome. How we behave and engage with people at work and home is something that is deeply engrained, and the sudden shift to social distancing removes critical context. Someone who is used to behaving and communicating with others in a particular way while in the office now as to adapt to doing the same over a video call taking place in their kitchen.

Computerworld magazine calls the response to the coronavirus  “a worldwide experiment in remote working.” In this report, Webrain looks at The New Normal: The Social Distancing Economy, and how new technological products and services are helping us during these very earliest stages of this experiment.