Never in the history of histories have we relied on technology the way we do today. As most of us are going through a pandemic for the first time, it comes as no surprise how all the more critical digital innovations are in today’s context. To remain afloat both in our personal and professional lives, we must learn to keep up with trends surrounding the new normal.
An updated version of normalcy may initially seem strange, but the sooner we pick up new habits, the readier we become to brave the world at large.
Here are the top technology trends that will forever change how we go about daily life
2002’s SARS outbreak opened a floodgate of new businesses in China’s online marketplace platforms. 2020’s pandemic isn’t any different in that respect. Although online shopping has long been a mainstream practice, it has never been the primary consumerism preference until today. So much so that e-commerce statistics have only been increasing by the day. As clubs and restaurants have been forced to reduce their in-seating capacities to prevent the spread of covid, the food and beverage industry, too, now leans heavily in curbside pickups and delivery services.
One of the first few spectacles the world has had to experience once news of a pandemic broke was the reality of work from home arrangements. Enabled by cloud technology, virtual private networks, work collaboration tools, and a buffet of other digital offerings, remote work allows organizations to carry on with operational duties sans having to converge in an office. Although the concept of work from home set-ups have long been existent, they’ve never truly been a common practice for traditional corporate enterprises until this year.
On top of preventing the spread of the virus, working remotely with a team offers more flexibility and helps businesses and employees save money. But despite all of its glitter, work-from-home practices have their fair share of disadvantages, too. Issues like information security, tech problems, and privacy prove to be valid cons for many employers. What’s more, work-from-home dynamics also pose a sizable extent of complications regarding income taxes and safe work environments. Recently, various news articles and psychology reports have cited how many professionals have felt a stunning lack of a work-life balance.
It’s unclear when the globe’s collective pandemic experience will look up, but when the novel coronavirus does become more manageable, experts say many businesses will retain work-from-home arrangements.
Earlier this year, nearly 200 countries have initiated school and university closures, impacting more than a billion students worldwide. To ensure academic disruptions are kept to a minimum, several educational institutions have made online courses more diverse, if not more seamless.
Similar to remote work, distance learning, too, utilizes many familiar technologies. From machine learning-enabled robots to virtual realities and 3D printing, schools and universities have had to triple their efforts in keeping both faculties and student bodies engaged and excited.
Of course, that’s not to say distance learning doesn’t come with its own disadvantages, too. From income levels to digital preparedness, privilege is even more evident in the academe today. On their end, mothers specifically, the need to continually watch and provide for their children—this time 24/7—can be emotionally taxing, as well. It may even lead to decreased work productivity. Because families spend more time at home now, compartmentalization becomes harder without set boundaries.
An effective way to combat the pandemic, hospitals, and medical establishments have turned to tech to better accommodate more patients without having them visit a clinic in person. Virtual appointments and checkups are a slice of the norm now. Additionally, chatbots can now make initial diagnoses based on a patient’s disclosed symptoms. On the other hand, wearable technology also serves as a useful aid in checking vital signs.
Still, Telehealth costs and services vary per country, and not all health insurances cover the inclusion and distribution of health-related services via the internet. It’s also worth mentioning how Telehealth demands an absolute mastery of smartphones and wireless devices, which may prove to be a challenge to baby boomers. And because hospitals and medical practices are a few of the most regulated businesses, health experts and doctors are often only allowed to cater to patients within their jurisdiction.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and 5G
Because it is virtually impossible to connect with individuals outside your household without a steady internet connection, you can bet that all trends above rely sincerely on stable internet.
Although 5G has proven functional and necessary in the continuation of remote work and distance learning, numerous countries are yet to roll out 5G services. Furthermore, the adoption of 5G will only inflate data costs and fees, so discuss these matters with your network provider. When your connection is unsteady to start with, all else will follow.
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