In just a few weeks, much of society has had to adopt living and working habits that it has resisted for decades. Today, a large number of families and friends interact only by video calls, and a good proportion of people are working from home, doing teleworking. The technology that enables these possibilities is not new, it has been around for a while, but only a small part of society has adapted to it so far.
It is very likely that life after the Covid-19 crisis will involve both homeworking and video conferencing as generally accepted routines, and this will also increase online shopping, education, cultural consumption and medicine.
But it’s clear that homeworking isn’t just about doing a job from home; this is as wrong as when it was believed that the e-book was the pages of a printed book converted into a PDF format. Homeworking requires new routines, a different relationship with the company and the customer, and new processes. It is a cultural change that has economic implications, and especially environmental ones.
The post-Covid-19 crisis economy will necessarily have to be very environment and people friendly. That means that companies that focus on homeworking should not lose sight of the fact that the goal is not cost reduction but efficiency and respect for both the employees and the environment. Working from home is a great opportunity to reduce the ecological damage caused by millions of people commuting every day, but it also has huge risks: the dangers of becoming a slave to work or an increase in job insecurity are high. There are always pros and cons, but the indisputable reality is that for millions of us who are confined to our homes, the virtual office is now the new norm: work relationships have entered a new era, and the disruption has not been caused so much by the technology – which already existed – but by a highly contagious virus. All this will surely have far-reaching consequences, and we hope that readers will find our feature on teleworking useful and interesting (pages 18-21).
Stay safe and keep in touch, and don’t forget to share with us your experience of the lockdown and how it has changed your life!