The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged much of how people live and how business operates. Above all else, the coronavirus outbreak has demanded adaptation, and humanity has done what it always has, namely accepted the problem at hand and made the necessary changes to get through a difficult situation. This is how businesses have combated the pandemic and how those changes will persist when the coast is clear.
- Sneeze Guards
When you visit a retailer nowadays, you’re likely to see the implementation of sneeze guards. These plastic sheets perform a vital service to retailer workers primarily, but that protection goes both ways. The installation does what the name implies, and it serves as an external safety measure that is roughly equivalent to face masks or shields. While this has been a welcome safety precaution during the pandemic, it’s likely to stick around. It hinders the retail process very little, and the value it provides is always applicable. Moreover, it adds just a little bit more protection from potential robberies, meaning that it has both medical and security applications. Sometimes, the path of least resistance for measures like these is to adopt them permanently, up to and including repurposing them. Like many Asian countries that have worn face masks for decades, you can expect many of the changes made for protection against the coronavirus to hang around indefinitely.
The ability to engage with retail and other services remotely has always been good for consumers, because it offers convenience. Likewise, businesses have long been able to profit off of offering this convenient way to shop. However, e-commerce has seen a major boom during the pandemic, because it also provides safety from the risk of infection. What was once convenience is now survival, so it stands to reason that businesses of all kinds have implemented e-commerce functionality in response to the pandemic. Hospitals in particular have been able to reduce unnecessary contact with patients with the use of self-reporting apps. However, e-commerce was already commonplace and perpetually on the rise, so there’s no reason to expect that businesses will dial back e-commerce functionality when all is said and done.
While the pandemic is a universally negative moment in human history, moments like these tend to bring silver linings that can help the human species build a better society moving forward. While these developments have been inspired by something dire, they will continue to benefit mankind even after COVID-19 has come and gone.