Life after lockdown: Seven predictions for the new norm

It’s fair to say that none of us have witnessed anything like this in our lifetime, but looking back on other significant crises in history, there is one certainty that prevails: life never really goes back to the same as it was before. And our current situation will be no exception. Here are my top seven predictions of how life will look once lockdown is lifted on the Covid-19 crisis…

Increased flexible working

Britain is currently undergoing the biggest ever work from home test – and so far it has passed with flying colours. Yes, there is still lots of room for improvement, but we have had a taste of how technology could revolutionise the workplace – and there’s no reason why it should stop after lockdown. Meetings have been turned into conference calls, software is being loaded onto personal laptops and it is working. Once we all return to ‘normal’, there will be less concern about home working. Organisations will focus more on trust and tasks rather than bums on seats in the office.

The grass is greener…sometimes

For many, lockdown has given us the time to stop and think about what is really important to us. It’s given us the breathing space to really reflect on our lives and think about what makes us happy. It’s likely that we will see a rise in more people leaving jobs they hate and perhaps starting new business ventures in fields that really nourish them.

Job will be lost

Despite all the efforts the Government have made to safeguard as many jobs as they can, sadly there will be extensive job losses in sectors which will take years to recover. In particular areas like tourism and hospitality are likely to be hardest hit – particularly as people are likely to be affected by ‘FOGO’ (Fear Of Going Out). The Bank of England has also warned that the UK economy is heading towards its sharpest recession on record – which almost always ends in job casualties.

Valuing our Health Heroes

Probably the most important thing to come out of all this is a newfound national understanding and appreciation of the importance of the jobs in health and social care. Going forward, we will have to pay more to fund them properly. The private finance initiative model for A&E hospitals will disappear as you cannot run a hospital at full capacity on a business model that doesn’t allow for unpredictable pandemics. It was never a good idea, now we know it’s absolutely foolish.

Small businesses have a big part to play

For many of us, lockdown has been made easier by independent shops and businesses pivoting their services to accommodate the new norm. This ability to adapt so quickly and support our communities has highlighted how important all business is to the economy, particularly small business. I’d like to think that people will continue using the services that have been working well for them, encouraging others to buy local and support British business – not run to the cheapest option.

More businesses moving online

We’ve also seen so many great examples of businesses moving their services and products online in order to survive and thrive in the current climate – from online wedding fairs to local delivery services. This has shown us how the wider British business sector should also really flex to make the most of the online marketplace in a way they have not previously, so that people can make the choice to buy local online. You only have to take Primark as an example of a business that has had zero sales since they closed their doors as they have no online presence.

The power of PR

Now, more than ever, PR is a crucial tool for getting your brand recognised by your ideal customers. For those companies that have remained silent throughout the pandemic, we will see an increase in their investment in PR to help them remind people that they still exist, what they do and what they can offer. While I recommend that you up your PR activities now, if you need any help with your PR in the immediate future or beyond please contact me for a complimentary chat or check out my website: https://www.fionascottmediaconsultancy.co.uk/

There’s no doubt that the pandemic will leave behind some painful memories, but out of this will also come better ways of doing things which will create a new, more people focused, norm. We only have to look at history to see the women who staffed the factories during the First World War as an example – they did so as temporary measure whilst the men were at war. But now it’s impossible to imagine a society without working women…

Fiona Scott has more than 30-years media experience as a journalist in print, broadcast and television, which she still maintains while running a successful media consultancy from her home in Wiltshire – a county she is passionate about supporting. She’s also a guest director on the BBC day- time series Flog It!, and is an ambassador for Swindon 105.5 community radio.

With a vested interest in supporting SMEs, Fiona now uses her extensive career to support and coach business owners with their own media journeys – offering practical and supportive advice to help them to tell their stories and show off their best assets. For more information visit https://www.fionascottmediaconsultancy.co.uk/