July 13, 2020

Digital Connections – The New Normal

new normal

WELCOME TO THE NEW NORMAL by Jeff D. Rines, Senior Director of Information Technology

The lasting impact of COVID-19 is real.  An event such as this, will change the world.  Welcome to the new normal.

COVID-19 is a change agent.  There will be new policies, procedures, and laws in every aspect of our lives.  Some changes, such as video conferences, were already in play but have now been accelerated by COVID-19.  Other changes are happening as a result of this catastrophic event.  No matter what, more change is on the horizon.  Some good, some bad.  My recommendation; it’s time to buckle up and get ready for the ride of a lifetime.  Here are just a few of those I see coming soon.

Look for companies to convert to all hands-free devices.  Sensors that will turn on/off lights, water faucets, doors, soap dispensers, hand sanitizers, and more.  Hand sanitizers will be the norm in every entry way.  Alcohol wipes will clean our world and I am sure disposable gloves will be in the mix.  The overarching message will be… Don’t touch that!

Is travel on the cusp of being reinvented? Will you ever again ride an airplane, a bus, or the subway without a mask?  Will you go on a cruise?  Will you stare down the passenger that is sniffling or coughing?  If they sit down next to you, will you get up and move?  These are only a few of the scenarios that will be the theme of our travel experiences.  

Will you attend conferences in the future?  Will all conferences go virtual?  Some vendors are trying the virtual conference concept now.  Yardi has changed their YASC conference to a virtual conference.  The benefit of virtual conferences; no travel, cost savings, time savings, and increase in attendees.  Interesting concept.

Everyone has purchased something online.  No big deal – right?  Have you ever ordered groceries online and have them delivered?  It’s a game changer!  You can order a car online and have it delivered.  Look for online shopping to continue to grow and improve.  One concept is the virtual reality shopping experience which gives the shopper the ability to interact with the item of interest.  Now that is next level shopping! The winners in this change are the consumers and the delivery companies.  

I had a virtual doctor visit recently; it was a time saver for both the doctor and me.  Additionally, there is no contact with other sick people, therefore it’s much safer.  This concept doesn’t limit the number of patients a doctor can see to the size of their waiting room.  Therefore, a doctor with a small practice could see more patients.  I know there will be times you need to go into the doctor’s office, but I bet you will get screened virtually before you go.  Is this how we get health care for everyone?  I don’t know about you, but I am praying for virtual dentist visits.

The ability to work from home has been a concept that has been discussed but not tested on a large scale.  COVID-19 forced companies to embrace this idea.  Working from home has its challenges, but with technology they can be overcome.  As you all know, this is now a proven concept.  Companies who will allow employees to work from home in some fashion could reduce office space, expand their hiring population, and create a new dynamic for employees work life balance.  

This is just a few small areas where change is evident.  Other areas where change will be made include schools, concerts, sporting events, childcare, stylists, restaurants, and parenting.

Change is coming.  Are you ready for the new normal?