Shifting Gears Part 7: Life after COVID 19
Life after Covid-19
Humans have always found ways to adapt very quickly in a crisis. Even before the rather sudden lockdowns were announced around the globe, every employer and employee knew that working remotely would be essential to the continuation and survival of their businesses and economy. It’s been incredible how rapid this implementation has occurred with hour-by-hour Covid-19 news unfolding yet it’s happened. Workers who had never worked remotely before had to take crash courses and are now working safely from the comfort of their own abodes. Covid-19 has definitely thrown a massive curveball at the traditional way we work but could it be blessing in disguise for the way we work in the future? Certainly the benefits are being felt in the environment yet it has helped people to slowdown and reflect on their current work practices. In Ireland, 6.5 % of the population were already working remotely pre-Covid-19 with tools like Zoom and Slack, with high-speed broadband now reaching most communities across Ireland, especially in rural and regional areas such as the Arran Islands. Non-profit companies such as Grow Remote have had great success in increasing permanent employment opportunities by connecting people with businesses for remote roles in these regions. The current crisis is now making people wonder if working remotely could be a better option which may allow re-locating away from cities to smaller centres and areas.
With the surge in property prices, high daily expenses in cities and the hectic pace of life in general, millennials in particular are looking to the suburbs and the country for new lifestyles and a more gentle pace of life. It may mean giving up the excitement of the cities amusements such as bars and restaurants for a more sedate life but working remotely will allow millennials and others to afford a reasonably priced home with more space and with far less transport time to and from work or a remote hub. With improvements in public amenities in these regions, people may see the benefits of living outside cities. The pandemic has been disastrous on so many levels but it is allowing us a new model of how and where to work that businesses and individuals will have to give due consideration even when the crisis has passed. Even more importantly it just might be one of the catalysts for changing the course of climate change and reducing the high levels of stress that go along with living in congested cities.
Covid-19 has brought family, friends and communities together in ways that were almost unimaginable a couple of months ago. Even though we’re currently having to live in isolation and physically distance ourselves from others for the short term we thankfully have technology that allows us to be entertained, to work from and to communicate with. At least we were prepared on this front! Not all countries have this access but those that do, such as Ireland, can now allow their citizens the luxury of choosing where to live while working and making a living. It’s why widespread broadband across every corner of Ireland is vital. Donegal’s Arranmore Island is a good example where modern broadband is helping keep the population at stable numbers but also attracting new residents and sustaining the island’s small economy. The Modam digital hub facility on the island set up by telecommunication company Three is now assisting with finance, IT, online education and health needs for the people on the island while the Irish government roll out their National Broadband Plan.
So, where are we heading with work and careers for the future? Technology might just be our saving grace in this situation. Like every pandemic before, this one will pass and we’ll be able to meet and greet again but what Covid-19 has done is throw out some quite appealing alternatives for how we work that may ultimately balance work and lifestyle, as well as saving the climate in the process!
If you’re feeling your own shift happening right now and you’re open to exploring a new way of working, then maybe a chat with one of us in HERO could help guide in the right direction for you.
We collaborate with wonderful companies who are doing amazing work in their industries, some are located in the most pictures parts of our beautiful Ireland.
Moving from the hustle and bustle of the big city may be the gearshift you’re looking for.