It’s the year 2035. We’re downloading the latest update of lockdown 45.0. By now, the governments across the world have made it compatible across all stratas of the society resulting in a seamless integration with our lives. We in fact look forward to the new features they improvise on every month. Can’t wait to explore this month’s edition of “Merging with Mars: a new planet, a new perspective”. It comes with a catch though, only the non-corona ones can avail a membership, we don’t want to uproot the functioning of another planet after all.
Don’t worry, this is not of your worst nightmares. This was just a fictitious trailer in our foreseeable future. Our actual future is definitely going to be corona free, can’t assure you of the inescapability from another virus though. The human race has a penchant for turning dreams into reality, and though this might seem like a fantasy at the moment, the drive to achieve world dominance is surely going to result in a vaccine within a year at the most. Any reference to China is purely coincidental. After all they are our only harbingers of hope, after drowning us with its share of disasters.
Life will restore back to normal. This normal is going to be quite different from the one defined in the dictionary. We will have to knowingly and unknowingly incorporate infinitesimal changes into our lifestyles which are going to result in a new world order altogether.
Battling the constant conflict between Aristotelian philosophy of “Man is by nature a social animal” and Darwinian theory of “Survival of the fittest”, the 21st century man is trying to cope with the congenial coexistence of both. History has been testimony to the ironical iteration of confinement leading to chaos. Owing to the pressing concerns raised due to the egregious economy worldwide, we’re slowly retrieving back to a state of sanity. From garnering groceries to banking through barriers, from dropping deliveries to opening offices — social distancing is the common factor each of us are compelled or cautioned to imbibe into our daily lives. Of course, it’s more of a catch than a cure but anything that keeps us away from corona right? Sailing through this storm is our sole motive at the moment, as survival seems imperative. And as they say after every storm comes a rainbow, this virus might just turn into a virtue after all.
As India gradually lifts its lockdown restrictions, employees are bracing themselves to enter into their establishments, treading into these tough and tumultuous times with a lot of tenacity. Change is literally the only constant in the cue of covid-19. After weary weeks of work from home, retracing back to the office comes with a lot of clauses.
As we enter into Unlock 1.0, here are a few guidelines to be kept in mind for the doors to be opened with a difference.
- Every office/industry/workplace will have to be disinfected and sanitized to prevent the onslaught of a contagion.
- Provisions of thermal scanning at entry/exit points and transportation facilities will serve as a prudent precaution.
- Sanitisers & handwashes to be made readily available to all the employees.
- Physical distancing of at least one metre to be kept between employees, avoiding large meetings and limiting gatherings to a maximum of ten are musts.
- Work from home to be implemented as much as possible to contain the spread, backed by the judicious decision of employees to attend work only if required and absolutely essential.
- Wearing of masks is mandatory in all public and workplaces.
On the surface and superficial level these rules seem benign and harmless, but we’re yet to witness their ramifications on various levels thereby which they’ll redefine the design, structure and framework of our workspace altogether.
Let’s pause and ponder over the paradigm shifts this pandemic is painting for us :
- Corporate Convenience — Convenience seems like a cataclysmic term to be coined in the current circumstances. But we’ve also overlooked the flexibility and freedom that can be leveraged from it. Work from home has been the most essential component of our survival kit during this pandemic, while it might’ve seemed inconvenient initially the gradual gratification it provided compensated for the chaos. Saving commute time, reducing the office space and supplies, ease in hiring and work allocation, more family time contribute to the advantages companies can leverage their strengths to. Of course we can’t completely replace the interpersonal connections and holistic growth in its nature, but it also gives us the space to introspect and enhance our personal growth.
- Digital Dominance — Digitizing every bit of data, has indeed turned out to be a blessing in disguise amidst this conundrum. While the learning curve is steep and sudden for most of us, this integration was inevitable. From using digital payments, creating digital currency to online shopping and digital marketing, literally everything around us is getting transformed onto the binary broadway. Digitisation remains the gateway for enabling work from home and cloud based solutions are an important tool to survive this pandemic. At the end of the day data is the new oil and unlike the latter this doesn’t tank, tragically throwing away our tomorrow.
- Versatility of Virtuality — “Experience is the teacher of all things”. We human beings, crave experiences at our crux. We believe that they etch an ephemeral enigma in our minds, an enigma which entices us to amass more of these experiences, after all this is what shapes every moment of our life. But in this lamentful lockdown how is one supposed to seek relief and respite? Worry not, when technology’s all we got. Virtual Reality is the answer we’re looking for. Unknowingly we’ve all succumbed to an application of these in our own different ways — be it our never ending zoom meetings or virtual art/museum tours, AR & VR are slowly sinking into our lives day by day. The reality it projects, helps in making ours more acceptable, accommodative and adherent. It renders a sense of physical proximity, social solace and coalesces connections through multifold mediums leaving us content.
- E-everything — The Internet is our existential elixir. This service has seeped so deep into our lives, that it’s hard to imagine a day without it. The predominance of Ecommerce, Elearning, Ecourts, Econsulting are all testimony to the transcendence of services across multiple sectors through this medium. Be it entertainment or essentiality, the internet acts as our primary source of connectivity worldwide. We would probably be on the brink of extinction without this wonder.
- Contactless Communication — Needless to say, distance is our ally to escaping from this impending doom of disease. Evolving from the buttoned phones to the touch screen gadgets, this pandemic has accelerated the development of gesture based technology. Communication remains impregnated in every aspect of our lives, be it between humans or gadgets. The need of the hour is an all encompassing tool that helps us maneuver through our day, facilitating work and catering play hand in hand. Kai, is an example of such a device which helps you control all your tasks through the day and delivers a packet of joy at the end of the day. Marvelling at this ironman tech is the only shield from the spread of sabotage.
The upheaval caused by this pandemic is unprecedented and massive, but channelising it in the right direction remains in our hands. Social distancing might be prevalent, but don’t let that distance you from your dreams and desires. Even though it comes with it’s set of downfalls, this unique scenario also offers plenty of opportunities for us to shine. After all “things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”