New world, new societies, new rules

From one day to the next, many employees started working remotely. Although some were used to doing this for one day a week, no-one was used to working at home on a daily basis. Disorganization and technology under pressure were key features of the first few days, along with the constant presence of children. Very quickly however, new routines were put in place and the tediousness of having video conferences and receiving calls all day long gave way to new professional practices and to new ways of staying focused. We realized that we could remain effective as long as technology kept pace.  
 
Separation from our nearest and dearest was difficult at first — and still remains so. Conversely, some people have returned to the countryside and to their families and are experiencing another side to the lockdown that could possibly be described as a ‘return to nature’. Despite the constraints, we have also found new ways to strengthen proximity and our human need for a social life: pre-dinner drinks via Skype, more frequent calls, cartoons and humorous video on WhatsApp, parish masses (or other celebrations) held on YouTube live and mass applauding at 8 p.m. to acknowledge our caregivers are just a few examples.
 
At first, we were all shocked by the changes on the street, but we soon adjusted and distanced ourselves from others with a hyper-awareness of coughs and sneezes. It was initially shocking to see people wearing masks, because of the shortages reported by medical staff, despite the fact that half the population of Paris seemed to be wearing one. Our mistrust of others has increased — since anyone can transmit the disease —  and we will probably all be wearing masks in a few days.
 
Our familiar paper notes and coins can also transmit the disease, which has led to an increase in contactless payments, online shopping and drive-thrus, and this is a trend that’s set to continue
 
Human beings have an unbelievable ability to adapt. They will therefore adapt to this new world but will need to change their lifestyles.   
 
 
The legacy
 
Greetings will become less physical, and videoconferencing for discussions will be used increasingly in people’s private and professional lives.  Working remotely will become widespread and will be rolled out extensively at all corporate levels, thus becoming the norm.  
 
Offices and meeting rooms will not be used as much. Premises will be adapted to offer smaller and more open spaces, and workstations will not be personally allocated, ensuring a more environmentally friendly and organic workspace.  
 
Some employees will want to work in the countryside and to be self-sufficient, so we will need to be ready to accommodate this expectation.  Hygiene will increase everywhere, both in the workplace and leisure areas and we will continue to be suspicious of those around us. Companies will need large stocks of masks, gloves and sanitizer gel. Canteens will no longer be able to offer individualized service and their use will decrease.  
 
Private and professional travel will decline significantly. We will shop increasingly online and in local stores promoting short circuits favored along with greater traceability of goods. No online retail will decrease drastically. This crisis will accelerate trends.