The #ShutIn Economy as in Inflection Point

 In Observation

Let’s talk about a “new normal.”

I’ve been thinking about areas of our life for which this #ShutIn economy may prove to be an inflection point. If we fast forward 18–24 months into the future, how might our daily lives be forever altered because of #COVID-19 and social distancing.

Prognostications

Predictions are a fools game, so with my position clearly established I’ll charge forward.

1) Remote work, obviously. I think companies will make a significant move to sustaining increased levels of remote work. Also many employees that get a taste of life with no commute and reduced walk-ups may find they prefer remote work. This should have momentous ramifications to hiring pools, recruiting, and even traffic planning.

2) Online ordering / Grocery pickup / Delivery economy: The availability of these systems finally hit critical mass in the last 12 months. Now we’ll see a huge boost in adoption. I expect that activity will spur further investment , maturity, and capacity for these offerings. It will expand consumer choice but may prove to be a fatal blow to many local retailers.

2) Internet Service: Philosophically internet access will be understood as a utility now. We’ve been chipping away at rural broadband and expanding socioeconomic access these past few years but it’s been a sluggish journey. Remote work, AMI Education, and online church services should provide the societal will to address these challenges and to do so rapidly. I’d expect further investment, subsidies, and federal mandates. I expect (hope) 5G will be part of the answer.

3) TeleHealth: Another area of slow burn growth. The tech has been there for a few years now. I was helping outfit rural health centers with telehealth rooms 3 years ago. Virtual Care apps have just entered our market in the past 3 months. I expect we’ll see regulatory and insurance coverage changes that will treat these platforms as a normal course of patient care. It could also jumpstart investment and integration into mobile care platforms like Apple Health.

4) Customer Service: While some of us (me) have long preferred customer service channels like chat, SMS Texts, and turning to Twitter I think we’ll see an explosion of customer connect tech. I expect we’ll see SMB exploring more tools similar to FaceTime, Texting, and Virtual Lobbies to service their customer base.

2 Key Questions

  • How do we mindfully maintain our humanity and relationships as these connective tissues become more digital?
  • What did I miss? I have such limited insight into your world, how do you think your organization and your life might change?
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