The COVID-19 pandemic has been enormously disruptive. Personal freedom has been curtailed with many cities imposing travel restrictions locally and the ongoing limits on interstate and international travel. Science has been moved from the back room or basement into the spotlight as the world endeavoured to first understand the SARS-Cov-2 virus, and then create a vaccine within a year. All these, and many more, changes have been disruptive. But I want, for a moment, to focus on how work has changed.
It’s been about a year since the pandemic escalated from “This could be serious” to “Red Alert” status. By March 2020, the Sars-Cov-2 virus had crossed national borders and went from a regional epidemic in China into a full international pandemic. Everyone has had to adapt in some way. But one group have struggled according to some recent research. Some sales reps are finding they are way less effective working online.
I’m typing this post on a MacBook Air – a pretty common device for writers, journalists and other people who need a slim, light and powerful portable computer to get their work done. But how many people do you know who use a computer that’s homing in on ts tenth birthday? My 2011 11-inch MacBook Air is still a great workhorse. Sure, it doesn’t do everything the latest models do. It passes the good enough test but keeping this laptop working has taken some effort.
Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at how to be more productive. I’ve looked at more task management apps that I can remember, read about many systems and tried all sorts of different tools and techniques. The problem has always been the same. They, I assume, must work for large cohorts of people. It’s just that I’m never in those cohorts. And I think I’ve finally understood why those systems and apps don’t work for me.
It should have been the easiest of transactions. I wanted to play old-school Doom on my Switch. So, a quick look at online reviews suggested Doom 64 was the version to grab. And, sitting on my smartphone, I could see this would cost less than $8 – cheaper than coffee and a muffin at the local café when we didn’t see such things as a special treat in the days before COVID.
One of the privileges of working as journalist in the technology arena is that I get to use some of the coolest tech around. For the last decade or so, that’s meant having the best the smartphone and tablet world can offer. But over the last few months, I’ve taken a step back. Instead of having the priciest and most feature-rich smartphone, I’ve decided to shift to an entry-level smartphone. And I’ve discovered that having all the latest features isn’t such a big deal.
I’m a frustrated customer. With the COVID pandemic, getting to the shops is becoming harder. So, last week I made three high value purchases. I’m not a retailer but it seems as plain as the nose on my face that many retailers are simply out of touch with their customers.
Earlier this year, I reset my home office space. Part of it was because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to reorganise things with my wife working from home and with kids now doing more learning at home. And part of it was a changing family dynamic. But the net result was that I
On my run this morning, I was jogging (some might say shuffling but whatever!) past the local primary/elementary school. It got me thinking about the nature of schools. If a vaccine for COVID-19 is not found, then will schools have to change how they work to enforce greater physical distancing. If the do, will we need to think about shifting to more schools with fewer students? And what of local libraries and community centres? The more I think about it, the more I think we could see a return to a more village-like sense of community.