For the economy as well as individuals, the question is which changes in habit will become permanent, argues economics professor Tyler Cowen.
An example: Zoom was already growing before the pandemic but has very rapidly become a huge and in some ways essential company. As it turns out, the company has the ability to respond to emergencies and scale up rapidly – but that was hardly considered a necessary skill in 2019, and it remains to be seen if it will matter much in 2022.
In a similar way, what makes a good worker or boss during a pandemic can be quite different than what makes a good worker or boss during normal times. Being able to work from a distance, for many months, is a skill rising in importance. Is that what companies should be looking for in new hires? Or is now the time to pick up talented but conformist “team players” who thrive on direct contact with their peers? Arguably those are the workers who are currently undervalued by the market.
Might these changes in quality affect your choices beyond work – such as your decisions about friends, family relations, romance, and much more? Should you buy a dog, knowing you probably won’t be homebound two years from now? How about dating?