The Novel Corona virus pandemic has driven us into a world of timeless uncertainty. This pandemic has affected more than 188 countries across the globe and is spreading rapidly each day , drastically impacting every aspect of human life. May it be businesses, education, healthcare or entertainment. Inspite of struggling to overcome the virus outbreak, we have been able to survive this situation with the help of digital platform.
When countries across the globe went into complete lockdown and stay-at-home orders were implemented ,the digital medium helped people in communicating with each other and staying afloat. Let’s say we’re all now in a glorified long-distance relationship with all our prior habits!
5 MAJOR IMPACTS OF CORONA OUTBREAK ON DIGITAL MEDIUM
- VIRTUAL CLASSROOM
Immediately after the outbreak, educational institutions were suspended all over the world. But schools /colleges didn’t suspend learning thereby instantly switching to the digital medium and providing video tutoring . Nearly 1.3 billion students are out of physical classrooms now. Even prior to covid-19, technology had taken it’s place in education. Now, there is a major evident shift from the traditional classroom set up to online education. Classrooms have been made virtual with the use of applications like Zoom. E-learning is a new concept which the education system has judiciosuly adopted. Teachers and parents are looking for online resources to support learning at home. Research shows that students are able to learn 25% to 60 % more faster through e-learning than in a classroom which is 8% to 10%. They can learn at their own pace because of complete flexibility at home. Amidst the availability of digital resources there are also challenges to overcome with this new learning method. With the sudden shift without proper plan, teachers struggle to handle classes for the lack of technological training . Students from remote areas without proper internet connection find it difficult to connect and in developing countries like India not all students will be able to afford smartphone or laptop. The future of education system will have a tremendous change post pandemic.
- WORK CULTURE SHIFT
Social distancing has become an integral part of our lives now. Manufacturing industries are temporarily shut down. Amidst this, the online businesses such as digital marketing agencies, technology service providers ,IT companies and e-commerce industries made their employees to work from home thereby balancing the workforce. Globally, all major brands including Google, Apple, Netflix and Amazon have welcomed this cultural shift thereby supporting and encouraging the safety of the employees. The current situation accelerated towards telecommuting out of demand. Work from home, which was once a foreign phenomenon has become a necessity now! Productivity of employees has increased two folds and travel stress has been reduced to zero. One doesnt need to rush to beat the traffic anymore.
This has immensely benefitted companies from spending tons of money on infrastructure maintenance. Organisations have now realised that productivity and goals can be achieved brilliantly via remote work setups. Since, physical meetings got barred, people started conducting webinars and conferences through online platforms. There is a great acceleration towards digital transformation in the operating modules of businesses. There is also a spike in the growth of freelancers. Like any other new system, WFH too has its own set of pros and cons! While It enhances work life balance, for men and women alike, it still requires technical and domestic infrastructure support to blossom. If this work culture is practiced religiously, it can improve job satisfaction and enable people from varied geographical backgrounds work together seamlessly.
Medicine and health care industry faced a tremendous change in their services providing online and video consultations in primary care. Unlike the Spanish flu in 1918, Covid-19 pandemic has been handled metaculously with digital solutions. Digital transformation which might have taken years to get adapted has been practiced instantly in only a a few weeks time. Various therapy and counselling centres have started using digital platform for providing their services. Online mode of certain treatments has found its way in our lives. Governments have leaned further towards the use of technology by creatng apps to monitor containment zones and movement of the virus. Many countries also used tracking devices to monitor a covid tested person during their quarantine period. Applications have been developed for tracking the number of infected patients. These applications are beneficial for the government which inturn helps to manage the crisis effectively. Digital transformation has proved to be a boon for healthcare and medical field.
- MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT
The entertainment industry got impacted tremendously as theatres and malls were closed. Social lives have moved online and there is a sudden surge of online gaming and consumption of content on OTT media platforms. Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar amidst others saw a spike in viewer subscriptions as numrous theatrical releases were acquired by these said platforms. Use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram has also increased during lockdown. Businesses have started to make use of OTT and online gaming as primary advertisement mediums. The screen time spent on social media has increased on an average from 1.5 hours to 4 hours per day. A recent report states that video streaming platforms have seen a 113% rise in the average number of users after the lockdown.
Many B2B and B2C businesses are using this opportunity in driving their sales through online media. Social media channels are implemented to enhance online shopping. Even though there is a decrease in paid marketing, businesses are using organic search to improve sales. Customer’s digital consumption has also increased and online shopping has become part of everyone’s life. Online Grocery shopping has seen a tremendous spike through the shift in consumer purchasing behaviour. It is evident that people are adapting to the new trend of the digital world as an outcome of social distancing.There are also issues with supply chain as all the international airports are closed as a measure to stop the spread. There is a drastic increase in the ‘first-time’ users of internet shopping. Demand for household essentials has increased as people started to stock up things out of fear of going out. This resulted in a spike of e-commerce and giants like Amazon, Big basket struggled to provide their services as result of huge demand after the outbreak. Reliance Jio jumped into the e-commerce delivery bandwagon by introducing it’s Jio Mart app. Swiggy India moved from being primarily a food delivery agency to a ‘genie agency’ by delivering anything and everything to its consumers. E-commerce has a bright future with Jio 5G spectrums being ferosiously tested.
The pandemic has seen a remarkable transformation in the lives of the people with the support of the digital medium alongwith unspeable growth potential for mankind!
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