How COVID-19 could change how we live, work and learn long-term

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

COVID-19 could usher in some long-term fundamental and structural changes to how we live, work and learn even after the pandemic flattens and ‘shelter in place’ orders are eased.

Those changes were the center of the discussion during Rose Law Group’s New Economy (Virtual) Power Lunch on Friday.

Michael Davidson, CEO of social entrepreneurial group Gen Next Inc. said. COVID-19 is resulting individuals, innovators and businesses taking a look at themselves including how they operate and their purpose.  

“It is going to be a bit of an identity crisis for all human beings,” Davidson said.

He expects to see more people thinking about and looking for purpose in their lives and careers. 

Davidson said those purpose driven workers and consumers will also expect their employers and other brands to be connected to their communities.

The changes could also extend to real estate, home designs and how we live.

“What are homes going to look like coming out of this,” said Jeff Nielsen who leads land acquisition in Arizona for Toll Brothers.

Nielsen said home offices, areas for home schooling and online learning could change preferences for designs and amenities after all the changes cause by the coronavirus. That could potentially include a move away from open floor plans. “What are people going to want coming out of this,” he asked.

Nielsen said the Coronavirus is also pushing home builders to figure out how they can market and sell homes better through technology. He told the Rose Law Group forum that Toll Brothers sold a home completely through a virtual and digital process.

“Everything was done through video, though text message. We’re figuring out new ways to sell homes,” Nielsen said.

Bill Nassikas, president and COO of Westroc Hotels and Resorts (which owns Mountain Shadows, the Sanctuary on Camelback and Hotel Valley Ho) said recovery for the travel and tourism market will hinge in part on when consumers become comfortable with air travel.

Nassikas also expects to see some transformations in how resorts’ spas serve visitors from personal pampering to more of a focus on wellness and better personal health.

Nassikas also said resorts and hotels (as well as other businesses) will need to reassure tourists and business travelers their rooms, restaurants and other space are extremely clean.

He also expects to see a boost in business from local and regional tourists who can drive to destination after some normalcy starts to return.

What that normalcy is might be still be very different for a while including from a medical perspective, said Dr. Sonal Haerter, an internal medicine physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. 

“I don’t think we are going to back to where were for a while,” Haerter said.

She said the pandemic is prompting more doctors to use technology to touch base with patients. She said those virtual appointments can help her talk patients through their stresses and concerns about the Coronavirus.

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April 2020