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At HP, we’re monitoring and thinking about the long-term impact COVID-19 will have on every aspect of our lives.

We’ll be sharing those findings through a series of articles exploring how the current pandemic is reshaping everything from our planet, to where and how we work and do business, to how we live our daily lives.

Today we’re looking at how COVID-19 is impacting business.

While some urban technology industries have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, others are growing.

As you would expect, urban tech industries that rely on lots of close contact, like coworking, ride sharing, and online rentals, are being hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb cut thousands of jobs. Juul, Yelp, WeWork and hundreds of startups are cutting jobs as well.

On the other hand, companies focused on urban delivery and urban informatics are growing in importance. Amazon, Instacart, and Zoom are great examples of companies that are experiencing growth during the COVID-19 crisis. Instacart, which has seen orders increase as much as 500 percent recently, secured a $13.7 billion valuation in a new funding round, up from $8 billion after their last round in 2018.

Urban informatics are also helping track the virus and identify infection hot spots. As cities continue the reopening process, digital technology is being used to better test and trace the virus.

Companies across the board are being forced to change their business models, with companies like Uber pivoting from moving people to delivering essentials. Restaurants have changed from dine-in only to online food delivery and dine-outside. Students and families are adjusting to online learning. People are ordering groceries online instead of going to the store. …


COVID-19’s impact on where and how we work

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COVID-19 has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives. From healthcare, to the economy, education, travel, retail, and more. The rapid spread of the virus forced businesses around the world to adjust and transform practically overnight.

Non-essential workers who could, were forced to work from home, creating instant remote workforces and turning corporate policies and IT infrastructures on their head. Remote workers scrambled to set-up optimal home offices, adjust to online collaboration and meetings, and find a new workday flow, one that included spouses and children who were also working and learning remotely.

While some people have returned to the office in recent months, at least part-time, recent spikes in COVID-19 infections have companies assessing if remote working should be a more permanent strategy, or if a hybrid model — combining remote and co-located work —may be the future of work. …


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Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve seen our world completely change in a matter of months. Streets have emptied, parents have become teachers, and our homes have been transformed into workspaces. Essential workers are risking their lives every day to aid the ill, provide groceries, deliver packages, and many other necessities we may have taken for granted before.

At HP, we are monitoring the long-term impact COVID-19 will have on every aspect of our lives. …


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There is no doubt that this global pandemic is putting a massive strain on healthcare systems, businesses, economies, and governments all over the world. The world’s economy is expected to diminish by 3% this year. 36.5 million Americans have applied for unemployment since mid-March, nearing levels not seen since the Great Depression. At the time of publishing, over 8 million people have been infected, and 436,322 have lost their lives. In response, the global population is collectively adjusting to a new way of living as the COVID-19 situation progresses. …


Our “new normal” requires leaders to rethink how they lead. These tips will help you lead a team that’s working from home.

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Across the United States and around the world, companies have quickly ramped up work-from-home policies due to social distancing measures, closing non-essential, traditional offices to slow the spread of the virus.

As we start another week working from home due to COVID-19, business leaders and their employees and are faced with a “new normal”, pushing us to adjust to new work and communication styles. Companies are adapting, learning, and implementing a different way of working with new technologies and processes.

Working from home requires increased cybersecurity. Virtual Private Network (VPN) usage in the U.S. has grown by 53% between March 9 and 15, and that number is expected to increase. …


Staying ahead of constant change requires a keen understanding of the global forces that will shape our human experiences and business decisions

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The amount of change happening in the world today is accelerating, creating a continuous challenge for how companies stay ahead of it all, decide where to invest, think about the future, and innovate in ways that enable them to do the disrupting, instead of being the ones disrupted.

At HP, our vision is to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere, and understanding the Megatrends that are shaping the world around us enable us to do just that. While they won’t give us all the answers, Megatrends can be a beacon for where the world is headed, giving us the opportunity to adapt, chart, and reinvent our own future.

After five years of Megatrends research, this past year we took a step back and combined our learnings into a single, refreshed report. The report includes updated data highlighting the four big Megatrends — Rapid Urbanization, Changing Demographics, Hyper Globalization, and Accelerated Innovation — as well as new observations and analysis of the impact they are having in shaping everything from our planet to our businesses to our day-to-day lives. …


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As a futurist, my job is to anticipate change and stay on top of current trends. There’s a new generation entering the workforce — Generation Z. Following Millennials, this generation includes those born between 1995 and 2010. While being defined as the most ethnically-diverse and largest generation in American history, Gen Z also grew up surrounded by technology, also making them the most tech-savvy generation.

I’ve previously provided some thoughts on thinking like a futurist and today, we’re diving deeper into the role Gen Z plays in the future. Here are my tips for how to collaborate with Gen Z:

1. Put yourself in their shoes

It’s important to acknowledge the obvious differences that divide each generation. For example, Gen Z grew up in a post-9/11 world with new technology and completely different childhood experiences than those of previous generations. With technology constantly at their fingertips, this generation of “digital natives” have had nearly lifelong access to boundless amounts of information at the drop of a hat. …


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Innovation is significantly shaping our world. It’s the number 1 topic I’m asked about. Whether it’s at the HP offices, at customer or partner events, or when I speak at conferences, people want to know how they can tap into their own inner innovator, and spark innovation at their company.

With everything happening in our world today, it is important to take time to let your mind wander and dedicate time to thinking about the future. A thought-provoking speech never fails to reaffirm your desire to innovate, create, and impact the future. …


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When you picture an effective leader, what comes to mind?

A deep understanding of their industry, self-awareness, decision-making skills, integrity, transparency, and being empathetic are some of the things that come to my mind. Leaders with a high degree of emotional intelligence earn the trust of and inspire their team to reach their full potential.

One important aspect of emotional intelligence is empathy. It’s the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they might feel in a certain situation. As leaders, the more we’re able to relate to others, the better we can appreciate what motivates or upsets them, and in turn, better help them feel understood and inspired. …


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In 2016, I wrote an article titled “Robots Aren’t Taking Our Jobs, They’re Transforming Them,” in response to a flurry of articles I read about robots taking over the workforce in the coming years. Now, nearly four years later, we see the same headlines.

While innovation is happening at an astonishing rate, we’re still nowhere near a Westworld-esque future where robots and automation rule. Robots have come a long way, but still need human expertise and skills to function. Therefore, the outcome is less likely a replacement of humans, but rather a reskilling.

There is a valid concern over the possibility of increasing inequality in our automated future. Once robots enter the workforce fully, most highly-skilled, educated workers are likely to experience a smaller shift in responsibilities than their less-skilled, educated counterparts. In order to adapt, those with fewer skills and education will likely have to expand their abilities to either empower them to work with robots or fall within the realm of abilities that robots currently lack, such as emotional intelligence and creativity. …

About

Andrew Bolwell

Chief Disrupter at HP. Constantly exploring how innovation, technology, & leadership will change our world. #MegatrendsbyHP

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