Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of caring and committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing I’ve ever had. ”This seems increasingly true in today’s post-pandemic world.
The collision of the four drivers of change – the fourth industrial revolution, COVID-19, climate change and disinformation – offers unprecedented opportunities to the individual. This is because, from a global perspective, much of the huge change that has already happened, as well as the change that is yet to come, has focused on empowering the individual and making him more informed, more involved and hopefully. , happier, healthier, and more satisfied.
Individuals have more opportunities than ever to direct the course of their lives, whether in a professional or professional setting, in education, healthcare or many other sectors. We are all becoming leaders in their own right, able to make decisions, adapt to the changing environment around us and serve as catalysts for pervasive change for the better.
If there is a single word that encompasses the opportunity afforded to these individual leaders, it could very well be consumer. The individual has been shifted to the powerful role of consumer – the end user exercising the ability and influence to influence and transform – in multiple sectors, most notably: work, health care and various forms of collective and community involvement.
While companies may view the pandemic as a hard pill to swallow because they are used to closely monitoring employees internally, it has actually given employees the opportunity to potentially become more productive. According to the consulting firm Great place to work, 5% of American employees worked from home before the pandemic, but as of May 2020, more than 60% worked remotely. And that group working in various alternative settings made the most of their time, according to a study by Stanford University and published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics of about 16,000 workers whose productivity when working from home increased by 13%. The study attributed the push to a quieter work environment and fewer breaks and days lost due to illness
If a company doesn’t value its employees and / or pressures them to work internally even if they fear a possible exposure to the pandemic or don’t want to spend hours commuting every day, there are companies that are ready and willing to hire those employees as workers. at a distance, especially with their new skills. The employee, more than the company, has the upper hand in deciding when and how he wishes to work.
Another component of remote working is the discovery and understanding that not all workers produce the best in a standard nine to five environment. Some people are night owls; others are morning people. As a result, perfectly capable employees who thrive at night may be misclassified as slow, lazy, or unable to do a job that happens to fall into their non-productive times of the day. Writers, for example, generally thrive in quiet environments and less in chaotic or typical “office” environments with noise, interruptions, and meetings.
Remote work offers programming autonomy that allows employees to work at a time of day when their skills are optimal. It doesn’t matter if it’s early in the morning, in the middle of the night, or at intermittent times during the day, workers are gaining the independence they need to use the day to their advantage rather than adhering to an unnecessarily unproductive schedule.
In addition, people will have the opportunity to develop what can be called greater self-management skills. With greater autonomy from traditional and hierarchical styles and management structures, individual workers (especially the growing population of freelancers) will have the opportunity and the impetus to develop more transversal skills such as active learning, resilience, tolerance. to stress and flexibility. They will take much more control as the leader of their careers.
Individual empowerment goes far beyond professional development and productivity. Individuals will also have the opportunity to approach work-life balance in a completely different context, incorporating a much more mixed and interactive perspective. In particular, remote work opportunities will offer social and family benefits that were often limited in “traditional” work logistics.
As technology is increasingly incorporated into education at all levels, distance learning and other options will provide the opportunity to offer valuable education to more people. Greater access to education could also serve to mitigate the stigma that higher education is only available to the wealthy and other forms of perceived inequality in education.
According to a 2021 she studies by Bay View Analytics titled “The Digital Learning Pulse Survey,” students enrolled at colleges and universities in the United States overwhelmingly supported the continued or increased use of online learning options. Most of the students, 73%, “fairly” or “strongly” (46%) agreed that they would like to take courses completely online in the future. Slightly fewer students, 68%, indicated that they would be interested in taking courses that offer a combination of in-person and online classes.
Furthermore, technology will make lifelong learning much more viable and adaptable to personalization. Rather than being force-fed mechanical material during the first 20 years of their lives, students will be given the opportunity not only to continue learning over a longer period of time, but also to have greater input into developing a coherent learning program. with their interests and needs of themselves and society as a whole: a more fluid and flexible approach to learning.
The future of healthcare will be centered on the consumer / patient. 24/7 access to data and information, including data related to the cost of care, will place consumers at the center of their healthcare, potentially reducing costs significantly.
Likewise, a growing shift in healthcare, telemedicine and personal responsibility for well-being has been driven by both the pandemic and the technological explosion of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Interactive devices such as wearable health trackers are just one of many emerging tools that are all geared towards monitoring and caring for current and active patients.
Although electronic health records have been readily available to patients for a decade or more, healthcare facilities now interact further with their patients via online portals where patients can check their health statistics, check their diagnoses, and message their patients. caregiver without having to meet in person unless an emergency requires it. This trend extends medical care to patients who are ineligible or unable to see their primary care physicians, as well as to those who live in the countryside and cannot easily get adequate medical care.
Collective community involvement
As is the case in other areas of society, governments now serve a citizenship that has unprecedented access to news, information and data. Given the rise of a more informed community, governments will be challenged to approach these connected citizens as empowered consumers, consumers whose level of satisfaction and constructive engagement will depend on the confidence that they are receiving real returns from their investments in government.
Evidence of the individual’s greater role in government is already appearing in many parts of the world. For example, at the national level, the Danish one MindLab was founded in 2002 as one of the first government policy labs. The workshop was tasked with developing creative, citizen-centered approaches to how policy is designed. (The lab has since been supplanted by the Disruption Task Force to further explore the various benefits of new technologies, data, and business models.)
Armed with new technologies, a different mindset and greatly expanded expectations, the individual has and will continue to exert an increasing influence on any number of elements of daily life. But the individual is not alone in the opportunity created by a climate of disruption and change. Businesses and industry are also positioned to seize huge opportunities, exciting prospects that are by no means limited to a profit and loss account.