Corona will definitly not change everything!
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Gronau on the impact of Corona
Supposedly, Corona was the reason for digitization to be forced on many business processes. From the lack of significant impact on business (except travel, tourism, entertainment) some digital prophets now conclude that the changes caused by the pandemic will remain in the future. These digital prophets are heavily mistaken. A Netflix movie about the Kruger National Park is no substitute for a visit to that national park, the virtual lecturer doesn’t receive an adequate reaction from his audience to the statements made, building trust between business partners or successfully enforcing goals in negotiations are nearly impossible via video conferencing.
These effects were already known in the past and the general conditions did not change. Humans are social creatures and want to spend time in the presence of other people. People had to suppress this desire if they wanted to or not during the pandemic, but they did not give it up.
Face-to-face conversation has a considerably higher quality than virtual conversation, so there will be a great deal of demand for face-to-face conversations again once the restriction of contacts comes to an end. Even travelling in a professional context by no means only has negative effects. For example, they allow a mental tune-up for the upcoming business meeting. In some cases business trips are even associated with considerable incentives. I am mentioning the air miles that can be used for private purposes, attractive travel destinations and pleasant dining options, to only name a few. Also, the divorce rate is said to have increased during Corona. None of this can be compensated for virtually.
So what will we be left with after Corona comes to an end? There will be a much easier choice between purely physical and purely virtual meetings. Hybrid meetings, on the contrary, are still crap. I have yet to encounter a solution that allows people that are present in person and people that are present over the internet to participate in a meeting simultaneously, even after ten months of Corona. There are usually significant stumbling blocks such as camera settings, feedback, and a lack of integration of individual participants.
All other professional and private behavior patterns that led to private and professional travel will come back after Corona and in a way that is almost equal to the times where Corona did not exist yet.
© Prof. Dr.-Ing. Norbert Gronau, January 12, 2021, published at www.prof-gronau.de