Here is a summary of what is happening in Canada and what we learned from the COVID-19 last year.
Rise of Delivery Services:
Due to people staying at home at increased rates, goods from groceries, meals, and online shopping items are being delivered, setting the stage for a boon to delivery services. While this is good for manual labor, drone delivery and autonomous delivery vehicles are hitting the road in live tests around the world to replace many human drivers.
Work and Education shifting online:
Not only have schools and universities shifted online for regular education, but businesses are demanding higher skills from employees, or outsourced companies. To prove educational claims requires certification, so adult certification courses are becoming very popular to the point where you can get online ‘badges’ for completing simple courses, and skills without certification are questioned.
Zoom and similar online meetings have stormed the computer world, required as we isolate at home, but need to be connected to others for pleasure, education, and work. An 8 hour day with a 2-hour commute has moved home into a 10 or 11 hour day at home, where you may take a break to do laundry, manage homeschooled kids or run errands, yet extending computer work time into the evening. Companies with remote workers will be more vigilant that, productive work hours will be respected, striking a balance between work monitoring and privacy.
Online vs. Buy Local:
Convenient to buy online, but worried about the carbon footprint from all that shipping? As local businesses lose out as they do not have an internet presence, they are pushing back, citing local employment, and the community benefits local shops provide.
Jobs have shifted to the home where you can work remotely, but many others have lost jobs in a COVID-19 economy, especially in the hospitality-tourism fields. Downsized employees are shifting to other service jobs like delivery, or starting a new surge in cottage industry and consultant fields. This newer “GIG” economy features many developing secondary income sources or side jobs.
Consumer Spending / Real Estate:
After a slow start in the housing market, people staying at home have been renovating like crazy, and housing sales are up across the board. This, as well as more laid-off workers, have contributed to all-time high consumer debt.
Travel & Tourism:
No recreational travel has hit the hospitality sector hard. Small hotels are closing, or selling and converting to care homes or apartment buildings. Air travel has adapted to COVID-19 requirements, making it safe to travel, but people have adopted the internet to keep in contact with family, or conduct business. Large gatherings like weddings have been curtailed. Restaurants have converted to take-out and delivery services to survive.
Life After COVID-19:
People will want to travel and party again, as social isolation has taken an emotional toll on people.
Work and business have been forever changed, being pushed online. Workers see fewer auto dashboards and more work dashboards on their computers. Less landing strips and more landing pages on the internet. People still want to work at home after the ability to return to work.
And more financial collapses of small businesses, personal bankruptcies will undermine the shifting economy.