The New York Times has a great article from David Leonhart where he tries to predict what life in 2022, a scant 18 months from now, will look like in America. He assumes no vaccine arrives this year, and that we continue to see waves of outbreaks and lockdowns.
From a business perspective, he talks about which business models will likely prove less than resilient in weathering the storm. Some likely casualties are those who were already vulnerable businesses…newspapers losing advertisers, traditional department stores (Eatons, Zellers, K-Mart, WoolCo, Target have all bit the dust in Canada long ago) losing out to Walmart and Amazon, and malls closing when they lose their department store anchors.
While universities in Canada are unlikely to fail, the same budget pressures are hitting them as they are in the U.S. — enrolment stability, cancelled summer programs, residence and food service fees gone, parking revenue gone, and provincial and federal budgets are taking huge beatings. » Read the rest
As a public servant, and similar to every other industry, there is a lot of speculation about what post-Covid workplaces will look like. Many of our operations can be done well-enough from home, and the challenges we have now are mostly about IT infrastructure, home office solutions, and privacy. Much of our work is digital and email-enabled, so it’s not a giant leap to work from home. We just traditionally haven’t done that transition for all the usual pressures related to remote workers and supervision/monitoring, and some unique pressures related to privacy, taxpayer dollars, and supporting Ministers in person.
Paul Taylor over at Governing.com wrote an article about five changes he sees coming to the public service post-Covid. Here’s an excerpt:
Your Cubicle. Our Conference Room. Where Did They Go? Your space may get bigger as facilities staff reconfigure space to conform with the 6-foot separation requirements. Coupled with limits on group size, that is likely to grow cubicle row into what were once conference rooms.
Since I once loved the law enough to do my first year of law school, there are occasionally articles that attract my interest that most people would skip over. One I saw this past week on Above The Law was about insurance claims in the wake of Covid-19. The author noted that the topic isn’t interesting to everyone, but a factoid at the beginning caught my attention:
But I heard something interesting about insurance last week that I just had to share with you: Some European insurance companies are now seeing fewer automobile insurance claims than at any time since World War II. (On second thought, maybe my definition of “interesting” and yours don’t match up precisely.) That gives you an idea of what the pandemic has done to travel across a big swath of the world.