How the Coronavirus Outbreak Would Change the Way We Work and Live in the Future

Published: 20th December, 2020

How the Covid 19 Outbreak Can Usher in the Digital Age

The Coronavirus Outbreak or the Covid 19 as it is also known as is disrupting nations in a manner that is unprecedented and never seen before.

In addition to shutting down economies and forcing people to stay at home, it is also leading to newer work arrangements as well as different forms of living as people try to adopt and adapt to the changed circumstances.

For one, it is leading to a surge in WFH or Work from Home Arrangements wherein corporates and public sector firms encourage their employees to work from home as they are banned from stepping outside. In future, this can lead to greater Digitalisation of our workplaces as WFH becomes permanent and a feature of our working lives.

Indeed, if not anything else, the Coronavirus outbreak can be thought to the harbinger of a totally Digital Society.

Talking about Digitalisation, there are other aspects that are changing as well including more reliance on Digital Payments and less on cash and physical transactions. Thus, the Covid 19 would usher in the Digital Age in a pioneering and game changing manner.

The Covid 19 Outbreak Can Lead to More Inequalities and Inequities

Having said that, WFH arrangements demand a basic backbone or infrastructure if they are to be meaningful and this is where governments worldwide have to step in and help corporates actualise a hassle free WFH.

For instance, this means that internet connections have to be stable and reliable as well as power supply and the other supporting forms of infrastructure.

Indeed, while all these aspects are taken for granted in the West, in countries such as India, there is much work to be done by the service providers and the government.

If such support is not provided, we can very well see an increase in the gaps between the haves and the have-nots as those with the means to afford digitalisation would surge ahead and those without the necessary support systems in place would lag behind.

This is where the focus of the governments ought to be as they have to rise to the occasion and ensure that all, if not a majority of their citizens are supported to WFH as well as to adopt Digitalisation.

Indeed, while Demonetisation gave a fillip to such arrangements, the Covid 19 would severely test the capacities and the capabilities of our societies to forge newer forms of working and living.

Covid Impact on Employees

The Breakdown of the Social Order and the Fraying of the Social Fabric can be avoided

Continuing the point made above, the Covid 19 outbreak can either lead to a newer form of societal coexistence or can lead to a breakdown in social order as well as a rupturing of the social contract.

Already there are enough indications that the social order is breaking down in many countries that do not have the means to support their citizens in such testing times.

On the other hand, this can be used as an opportunity to make lasting changes in the way we relate to each other and live as communal citizens.

In other words, the Covid 19 would force us to choose our priorities and put our money where our mouths are.

As the Chinese term for Crisis is a combination of Danger and Opportunity, it is hoped that societies worldwide would manage the former and embrace the latter to actualise meaningful change.

However, the evidence so far indicates that we are failing in rising to the occasion and instead of our Better Angels of our Nature coming to the fore, we are letting our Bases Selves take over.

Considering that we are in this for the long haul, it remains to be seen as to how long we can hold the social fabric that is already frayed from tearing completely.

The Impact of the Covid 19 Outbreak on the Future Generations

Moreover, the effect of Covid 19 on the future generations is also important to consider.

While Homeschooling is cool for those who can afford it and for those with the necessary support systems, think of those who do not even have an internet connection at home and ponder how their kids are going to make up for the lost time.

Indeed, it is worrying that apart from the inequalities that were discussed earlier; this is another manifestation how nations can fail the future generations if urgent steps are not taken.

As has been mentioned repeatedly throughout this article, this is the moment that determines whether we can hold together and this is not the time for letting loose the forces of destruction.

Further, there is a distinct possibility that Trust between stakeholders would become the casualty of the Covid 19 outbreak as everyone looks out for themselves and engage in a Race to the Bottom that would lead to a further deterioration of our societies.

Moreover, the Covid 19 outbreak can also lead to a Brutal competition for Resources that if not managed well can lead to civil unrest.


Last, an encouraging sign can be seen in the way people are forming micro communities online to help each other where the state is absent and it is hoped that this would continue to be the norm in the future as well.

These are early days yet and hence, the momentum should be kept going and sustained so that humanity emerges from this crisis stronger and more robust.

To conclude, the Coronavirus outbreaks ranks as one of the Biggest Challenges that Humanity has faced and it remains to seen as to how it would play out in terms of how we work and live.

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