Life after lockdown to be risk-averse and more selectively social

08 April 2021 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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With an end to the pandemic seemingly on the cards in the not-so-distant future, the question remains: how has the last year of lockdown changed people’s habits in the long-term? According to a new survey, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis will be that people are more socially minded, and risk-averse going forward. 

While it is still unclear how long it will take for a return to a real semblance of ‘normality’ following the coronavirus pandemic, the discovery and distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine mean that to many people, the end appears to be in sight. Just what that will mean for citizens and governments, businesses and consumers, is uncertain – but a growing mound of evidence suggests that the protracted crisis will have altered the behaviour patterns of many individuals in the long-term.

Recent studies have shown that even after the pandemic, consumers will remain wary of elements of public life where they may be exposed to other people and their possible viruses. This will mean that consumers will prefer using contactless payment methods, and likely be slow to return to bricks-and-mortar stores, while many will continue to avoid airports by vacationing domestically

After lockdown lift, I plan to spend more time at home to reduce health risks

Now, a new report from procurement consultancy 4C Associates has further examined how UK residents might behave differently in the post-pandemic era. The research examined the post-lockdown attitudes of 257 UK consumers, and how they plan to adapt their lives in the new normal. Unsurprisingly, one of the key findings is that most plan to be more risk averse following the year-long public health emergency they have come through. 

After lockdown lifting, 52% agreed to some extent that they would likely spend more time at home to reduce health risks – with 19% saying they agreed, and one-third stating they somewhat agreed. In contrast, only 16% said they completely disagreed with that statement, while 15% somewhat disagreed. 

After lockdown lifting, I plan to socialise with family and friends at home, instead of giong to pubs and restaurants

This newfound caution often translated into more reserved attitudes regarding socialising. When asked how they would prefer to interact with others when society re-opens, the majority said they would prioritise private visits with family and friends over visits to public venues. 

A total of 58.4% of respondents told 4C Associates that they would socialise with loved ones at home, instead of going to pubs and restaurants. Further to this, when asked what they would do instead, 55% said they planned to host more gatherings, or events like barbecues, at home – in order to make up for the time missed with friends and family over the last year. 

After lockdown lifting, I plan to continue working from home when if possible

In terms of returning to the office, meanwhile, the picture is more mixed. In this case, the largest portion of 36% of respondents were unsure whether they planned to continue working from home whenever possible, after lockdown ends. Meanwhile, 32% said they agreed to some extent, but 33% said the opposite.

As various other reports have indicated, many workers are determined not to return to the pre-pandemic pattern of the nine-to-five, five-day-week routine. However, with bosses increasingly looking for ways to expand workplace surveillance into the home-working space – as seen in reports from The Guardian that Teleperformance, which employs 380,000 people, plans to use specialist webcams to watch staff – it is understandable that many workers are wary of this. 

At the same time, while productivity among workers has been boosted by home-working – as it has allowed for a better work-life balance, and greater flexibility for employees – many feel it is inhibiting their ability to grow professionally. Two-thirds of employees viewed the isolation and disengagement which came with working at from as the biggest obstacles they faced while the UK went into its second lockdown.