Lessons from Lockdown

July 21, 2020

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As cities, companies and households emerge from lockdown and start to transition back to some kind of normality, it is clear that things have changed. Some aspects of our lives will remain affected so long as the threat of a renewed COVID-19 outbreak remains. There are also suggestions that people’s experience of the disease will result in some permanent changes to behaviours, preferences and lifestyles - the extent to which these changes will prove to be true remains to be seen. But they say every cloud has a silver lining, and there do appear to be a number of areas where COVID-19 has forced us to think or act differently – and in the process we have learned to do things better. Examples include a reduction in business travel in favour of more effective use of video conferencing, with consequent financial, environmental and social benefits. We are rethinking the opportunities for flexible working options, adding new dimensions to corporate workplace strategy and giving employees a better work-life balance. At the same time, lockdown has brought greater recognition of the crucial role that direct interaction with colleagues plays in many aspects of our work – and the ways in which an effectively designed and managed workplace can enhance efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. Our societal prioritisation of healthcare and social equality has long been ripe for review, and recent events could trigger fundamental changes in these areas. The silver linings could indeed be substantial and long lasting.

In this video Avison Young’s Global Head of Research, Dr. Nick Axford, reviews some of the ways COVID-19 has and will continue to impact our work and personal lives. Drawing on content from Avison Young’s recent 2020 Forecast and Evaluating the New Normal reports, he suggests a framework for thinking about how far current changes will persist, reviewing the way in which COVID has accelerated structural changes already underway and taught us how to do things better. However, he urges caution in jumping to premature conclusions about what changes may lie ahead – particularly where these seem to run counter to human nature or recent trends. The world we live in has been shaped by powerful forces and whilst some things are set to change dramatically, other aspects of our world will remain comfortingly familiar.

The content of this video represents the views of Dr. Nick Axford as of July 22, 2020 and is provided for informational purposes. Nothing in this video is intended as investment, tax, financial or legal advice and should not be relied on as such.

For more information, contact Nick Axford, Principal, Global Head of Research.

Stay Well. Stay Tuned. Stay Informed.