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Life After Lockdown – Part 3: Health & Wellness

Posted by    |   May 21st, 2020   |   No Comments

In the final part of our Life After Lockdown series, we look at the impact of Covid-19 on businesses operating in the health and wellness sector, as well as how people view the future of the workplace as we leave lockdown. 

 

Health & Wellbeing

More than three-quarters of respondents stated they would be more conscious of their health moving forward and more inclined to seek advice for symptoms. The vast majority (83%) had never had an online or telephone GP consultation prior to the outbreak. Although physical visits 69% remain the preferred option due to the assurance offered by face-to-face consultations, a growing number of people would choose online (17%) and telephone (13%), with a key driver in this being not having to travel or spend time in the waiting rooms of medical centres.

 

Fitness & Leisure

On the subject of fitness, one-in-four regular users of gyms and/or leisure facilities would return immediately upon their reopening, while 53% would wait a few weeks/months until it is safer and the rest would wait until there’s a vaccine or might not return at all. As with many other areas of our daily lives, technology is playing a massive role in fitness during the lockdown and over one-third of regular gym goers have or would consider an online membership if restrictions were in place for a long period. One would suspect this figure to be even higher were respondents to consider that using broadband issues as an excuse for not attending a class with friends is a perfectly valid excuse.

 

What is the Future of the Workplace?

Two-thirds of respondents were comfortable returning to the work environment as it was prior to the lockdown once restrictions were lifted but where the option of working from home or a workplace was available only 11% opted for the latter, with 37% opting to work from home. A mixed/split week came out on top, with more than half of respondents choosing this, indicating that while many of us appreciate the benefits of working from home (a shorter commute being the most popular reason), we also miss the work environment and the relationships we build with our colleagues there. For years we have heard about the importance of a work/life balance. Maybe the focus in the future will be workplace/home balance.

 

The Future

As Ireland reopens, we will see significant changes to how businesses operate compared to the pre-Covid era. Technology will play a part, though the battle between online and traditional retail will continue as we all have a greater appreciation for activities we took for granted before this. Safety measures for staff and customers will be paramount as we all try to avoid falling back through the phases and returning to lockdown. While gloves may be phased out due to the questions around hygiene, there is a probability of masks being required for both staff and customers in many environments to prevent any further spread, and there will likely be a significant push to make virtually all transactions contactless. We asked our survey participants whether they would be comfortable in a cashless society and two-thirds said they would. Over the coming weeks and months, we may get a sense of how comfortable we really are in this future as cash transactions are largely eliminated, something we’d have thought impossible in early March. It is truly difficult to comprehend how much can change in just two months.

 

By Ronan Cassidy

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