The year 2020 was like a nasty bouncer on a green pitch. Most people got body blows. There were some who were able to duck and a very few who could pull like the Hitman of cricket Rohit Sharma. But since you can expect only one such bouncer in an over, you would hope you don’t get another one.
It’s time we go back to the nets and get ready for the next time, if it comes around.
Having said that, there is something that we can expect after this pandemic gets over — a long term shift in the economy. I have tried, not to go into the deep sea of economics, by taking up some simple implications. These implications are based on two things — ‘emphasis on work from home’ and ‘emphasis on technology in economic activity.’
Work from home after Covid
To start with, let’s talk about the big cities, Bengaluru is an IT hub. Throw a stone in any direction and it will hit an IT professional. During Covid-19, everyone was at home but the work didn’t stop. Work from home was the new norm. Though everything is going back to normal, a number of employees at various companies have opted for permanent work from home now. And this number is only going to increase.
Now, can we say this will lead to a reduced burden on cities like Bengaluru? Maybe!
People opting for work from home will prefer a more comfortable stay at their native places. The demand for infrastructure will increase leading to economic development. The development, which was earlier focussed on cities like Bangalore, Gurugram, Noida will extend to various places across the country. Although jobs will be lost, but they will be created too. Secondly, many employees switch jobs due to location issues. The option of WFH may lead to a low attrition rate. Thirdly, a significant pie of an employee’s salary is the house rent. Won’t WFH help the companies to spend less on these rents?
There are some worrying points too. WFH will affect the automobile industry for sure. Businesses are adapting to new sales channels like Amazon, Swiggy etc. so the time is not far when you won’t need to go out. Why will people buy cars then?
Emphasis on technology
Now, let’s talk about the growing emphasis on technology. The economy is turning cashless. Digital transactions are on a rise. Therefore, tax evasion is likely to be more difficult.
Secondly, businesses like banquet halls may get affected as they were the choice whenever a seminar had to be organised. But why would anyone go to those halls when such seminars are easily possible on Zoom! Businesses now will have to bring in the technology component and those who cannot will have to reinvent their ways.
Thirdly, there will be an impact on media and entertainment industry. People are increasingly opting for OTT platforms, so who will go to cinema halls where for one movie, you pay more than the monthly bill of Netflix.
Having said all of that, it all boils down to the public sentiments. Every logic fails in front of that. When Morris can get more than the likes of Dhoni, Pant, Pandya, Rohit, anything is possible. Whatever happens, it should be for good now.
Lakshaya Arya is a student of National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra