Prior to March, “quarantine” and “self-distancing” weren’t common words used in our vocabulary. This new normal has led most businesses and employees to adapt to a new culture of working from home – and with it comes a new virtual world. Conferences are being held online, webinars are even more popular, and teams have been using instant messaging platforms to ensure continuous communications and operations. Even schools and government branches switched to online methods.
Still, the digital world goes beyond businesses operations. It is a way to connect with people and to maintain a good work-life balance, as people are using these online platforms to celebrate birthdays, holidays, or even host a happy hour among colleagues and friends. No wonder why the tech sector had a huge boom. Zoom increased their number of users from 10 million to 200 million since the start of the lockdown and Microsoft Teams reported an increase in users of 200%1.
With the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19, we will likely be working from home for quite some time and many wonder if this new normal will continue even after the end of social distancing and the pandemic crisis. A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research said that 37 percent of the jobs in the U.S. can be done by working remotely; however, according to Jefferies only 5 percent of people do so, a number that is expected to double after COVID-192.
We remain positive during these unusual times and believe that things will eventually return to normal, whatever the new normal will look like. We look forward to a time when we can laugh about Zoom backgrounds, dogs barking on conference calls, and kids randomly interrupting video calls. A little humor goes a long way.