Josephine O. Edwards
Guest Writer, The Xpress Train

The COVID 19 pandemic affected everyone on the planet. Everyday life was put on hold, and everyone was locked up indoors. This caused many to wonder what would come next.

Thanks to innovation, humanity rose to the occasion. We did away with our sharing economy and built an isolation economy.

The isolation economy featured something new. Something people all over the globe had previously thought to be impossible. We came up with an isolated existence.

Making use of technology trends, we continued life as usual, only digitally. Workers worked from home. Tourists and business people travelled over their devices.

Experts predicted that this would become the norm. Remote life had come to stay, and it was the future of socializing.

Now, governments all over the world are relaxing lockdown protocols. Businesses are now open. Schools and entertainment centers will soon follow.

This begs the question, what becomes of the Isolation economy?

Before the pandemic, we operated on an in-person model. Offices were filled with busy workers, and learning was done in the class.

The Isolation economy, on the other hand, saw a lot of remote activity. We held our meetings and classes online and visited museums digitally.

Are we just going to do away with this and go back to our old ways? Will the sharing economy return to be our norm?

Well, many experts say no. Instead, they predict that we will adopt a hybrid economy- a mix of the isolation economy and in-person work.

Why do they think so?

Well, take a look around, and you will see why. We have adjusted. It is no longer a myth, or an impossibility for us to do things remotely. And these appeal to a significant number of us.

Returning to office-space dictated work routines does not appeal to most workers. They would instead maintain their degree of freedom. This applies to students too.

Since all necessary education can be done online, they’d rather stay home and learn. It’s just way more convenient.

And it seems like the other side agrees.

Employers are now encouraging workers to work from home most of the month. Some even have co-working rosters with other employers to minimize operating costs.

Other businesses have a 2-days-a-week timetable for their workers. This keeping in line with social distancing protocols as well as giving workers the freedom they desire.

The education sector is more or less following the same trend.  Classrooms are now digital, and assignments are done at home and submitted electronically.

In a world where mental health is becoming a priority, this hybrid economy might be the best. It removes a lot of social burden from individuals, giving them access to a much needed break from it all.

A hybrid economy promises the best of its predecessors. It grants the structure of the sharing economy alongside the ability to choose whether to partake or not.

So what does the future hold for the isolation economy? Nothing. It is projected to be replaced by a more fitting economic system.

References

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200824-why-the-future-of-work-might-be-hybrid

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/valuable-productivity-gains-covid-19

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/08/just-small-shift-remote-work-could-change-everything/614980/