This is the first in an ongoing series of Pandemic Predictions – posts exploring what might change over the course of this pandemic, not in terms of the virus, but in terms of our personal, professional, and cultural responses.
I know many people are already talking about how long this sudden shift toward working from home might last. I’d extend it beyond regular office jobs, though; I don’t anticipate travelling as much for my own work as a consultant, either. There’s been a resistance in the coaching and consulting world to remote work, but now that it’s being forced on us and we’re understanding how effective that remote work can be, I anticipate a shift toward much more of it in my industry and many others. I don’t expect to be asked to travel on a plane to deliver a talk anytime soon, or to moderate a talk between people who’ve traveled from all over. It will be more cost effective and easier to gather thinkers from around the country (or the planet) to talk to each other.
I do think that programs that last a few days will still be delivered in person; in fact, I think after all this time apart, we’ll be more likely to run this kind of in-person workshop, to connect with each other. Any kind of program that is about your human development will likely continue to require in-person, human connection even if some aspects are delivered on line.
Overall, though, I believe a lot of work travel, formerly considered so essential, will feel frivolous and exorbitant—it’s a big cost financially, personally (being on the road takes its toll), and environmentally, and there’s just no need for much of it, as this pandemic is showing us.
Which aspects of your specific work do you see changing? Are you ready for the changes?