Inkjet & Digital Printing
What lasting habits are being shaped by the pandemic?
Friday 16. April 2021 - In just a few months the Coronavirus changed human behaviour on a worldwide scale. For more than a year every aspect of our lives has been affected and we have all adapted to measures introduced to control the pandemic.
By John Blyth, Marketing and Communications Manager, Commercial and Industrial Printing Group, Ricoh Europe
Forming lasting habits can take between 18 and 254 days, with an average of 66 days, reports the Swiss Re Institute. The longevity of the pandemic has created what the institute considers to be ‘fertile ground for new habit formation’.
We may feel safer wearing masks or remain mindful of how close we are to others. We may prefer to work from home frequently or shop online more often.
When life slowly starts to re-open, we will begin to see what changes are likely to stay.
Some of these lasting habits will impact how graphic arts businesses can prepare for post pandemic operation for both their clients and staff. Among those highlighted by the Swiss Re Institute were:
Increased digital adoption: people shifting to digital platforms for day to day needs.
Change in mobility patterns: less use of public transport and more remote working.
Change in purchasing behaviour: move to value based and online purchasing.
Management consulting firm McKinsey & Company found in its global Consumer Demand Recovery and Lasting Effects of COVID-19 2021 report that the pandemic accelerated digital adoption, especially in grocery shopping and healthcare and encouraged the development of innovative new consumer products and services. It suggested companies review how the habits of embracing e-commerce and digital communication can be combined with emerging innovations, changes in business models, and a redefined competitive landscape to shape product and service offerings.
Both reports demonstrate how at ease everyone has become with digital tools in life and business.
Operations that embrace this new found confidence will be best placed to effectively respond to these evolving market needs.
The Swiss Re Institute stated changes that provide positive experiences are likely to last longer, particularly those driven by convenience and wellbeing, such as digital adoption, value based purchasing and increased health awareness. It also warned new experiences need to offer significant incremental value for a change to become permanent – and poor experiences can result in a rapid reversal to past behaviour.
Central to the success of any change is employee care. British business psychologist Pip Gwynn says, to counteract the increasing blurred lines between work and home, businesses need to bring staff together, help them problem solve and be creative. Not to mention introducing ways to manage MS Teams and Zoom fatigue.