As the Government sets out its five-point plan to bring the country out of lockdown, just what will a post-coronavirus world look like?

Economists have warned of the long-term financial impact that could burden future generations, while mental health charities fear the psychological impact of recent months may have taken a heavy toll on many people.

Business, social science and psychology experts from the University of Sunderland here describe just some of the many obstacles individuals could face as we enter a new way of living.

Professor Lawrence Bellamy is academic dean for the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism at the University of Sunderland.

He said: “The Covid-19 occurrence will have a substantive and permanent impact on the way which society operates in the future. The forced adoption of different ways of working, socially interacting, shopping and undertaking leisure will stay with us.

“More people will now spend more of the time working from home. This will mean a reduction in demand for office space, reduced transportation requirements and congestion and an increased reliance and need for good information systems and technology. For those industries which are knowledge-based then specialist workers could input from anywhere.

“Some industries are likely to boom, with high demand for online shopping and associated supply and distribution driving custom to those organisations who are well-organised in marketing and delivering their goods and services, either locally through the whole process or through a well-organised global supply chain.

“Having made the conversion some people may not go back to being a ‘traditional’ consumer with trips to the shops, now that they have learnt about online convenience and developed the skills and confidence.

“The weaker retailers will be shaken out leaving fewer stronger firms in control of the overall spend. However, small innovative firms who are starting out online may find new customer opportunities in the changed market too.

“Leisure time and virtual consumption will continue to grow, with large platforms having seen continued growth in demand. Games, media, interactive content are high-tech and skills associated with content generation as well as delivery are important.

“The upskilling requirements for existing organisations are likely to be just as large as the demand for new workers in these sectors. These ‘products’ can come from anywhere.

“The overall economy will be significantly challenged, both by recovery but also by long-term debt, with the Government billions being pumped in currently needing to be recovered over time.

“There will be winners and losers in this, but also at a personal level where pension funds may be hit and people may need to work for longer to be able to afford to retire. Investors will start to refocus their portfolios towards the growth areas.

“Uncertainty around large investments is also likely to take a while to ease, putting off the new car or house move perhaps, or new shopping centre. Travel too will be held for many, with alternative more local holidays, staycations and home projects taking precedence.

“There will however be a bounce-back in some areas, for example where projects have been held and require completing. Construction often offers green-shoots first.

“So overall it will be a very mixed picture, with the only certainty being that tomorrow will not look like today and will be very different from yesterday.”

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here