As I conduct my university classes remotely this semester due to COVID-19, I find myself wondering if the pandemic will ever end. Of course, it will eventually end. But, what will be the lasting effects?
Wonderman Thompson just published a quick read on how the travel and hospitality industries are changing to accommodate the new 9-to-5 worker. Many companies are reassessing their need for on-site workers. COVID-19 necessitated remote work and companies are finding out that remote workers cost less and seem happier working away from the office. Google and Facebook have both announced plans for their employees to continue working remotely at least until July 2021. Not only are remote workers upgrading their home offices, the short-term office rental market is exploding. High-end hotels, like the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn and the The London West Hollywood in Beverly Hills are redesigning their rooms into semi-permanent, private, remote offices. This is a different business model than Wework’s shared workspace concept.
What about automobiles? The USA Today reports that drivers are using cars “to get away from the people they live with, get a change of scenery, take a nap, make a personal or business call, get some “me” time or just to feel normal again.” A TrueCar study showed that 7 in ten survey respondents said they see their car as an extension of their home and as a part of their family. Many remote workers are now using their cars for Zoom meetings, making the car integral to their new new remote work life. According to Wendy McMullin at TrueCar, comfort is the top feature drivers want in their next car. “People also say they want to do more off-roading or have more space or better connectivity and more technology,” she said. The recent growth of RV sales can also be attributed to COVID-19.