Head of marketing research and strategy at GDP Venture
Illustration of working from home. (Shutterstock/Travelerpix)
As we enter mid-2020, it's safe to say that none of us ever imagined this would be the year in which hand-washing would be the number one activity across the globe. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March and since then, mandatory stay-at-home measures have been enforced by closing schools, businesses and public areas. Surviving the pandemic became our primary concern and in less than 30 days, human behavior got remodeled.
Some are enjoying more time to rest and take care of their homes and loves ones. Others are affected differently and are required to modify their daily approach to the extreme. Based on a Manpower Ministry report 1.7 million workers were laid off and forced to take unpaid leave by May.
This situation has also caused technology usage to increase more than ever. Screen time has spiked while the internet connection has become the lifeline for daily activities. From working at home to health care, COVID-19 has forced society to adapt in ways that should endure. For some, it may not be enjoyable but it’s a must.
Healthier me is the new me
Personal health is the main defensive resource and this is reflected in how household supplies related to health have become a main priority. Fresh ingredients are regarded as compulsory, with jamu (traditional herbal drinks) and homegrown vegetables trending on search engines. Based on a local survey in Indonesia, fresh food and vegetables are at the top of the priority list for more than 60 percent of consumers. Alcohol, soft drinks and candies are found at the bottom of the list.
Digitalization knows no age
The pandemic isolation has forced almost everyone to stay at home and adapt to the digital world. Video conference apps have become the social platform for all ages and shopping online is unquestionably the new normal.
Digitalization has also become inherent in the entertainment element, as live-streaming expands to live music and religious activities. As a reference, the hours spent by Indonesians on video-streaming apps has increased by more than 15 percent.
Everyone is a "social businessman"
Less time spent on commuting gives more space for urbanites to learn new skills. As incomes have decreased for some, they have gotten creative and seen a new light in being entrepreneurs.
From WhatsApp to social media platforms, from protective screens to learning about mentorship, many are exploring new ventures and the phenomenon is not likely to fade when things get back to normal.
The pandemic has turned normal lives upside down and many feel that they are more connected to their communities, friends and families.
Have we embraced the new normal? Or it is just a momentary distraction? (wng)
Matthew Airlangga leads the GDP Venture marketing research and strategy department. With marketing experience in the financial industry, Matthew is currently assisting five companies in building audience data and implementing data-decision making to reach business goals.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.