Long-Run Changes Following the COVID Crisis

As COVID continues to significantly alter the way society works, many aspects of life are changing. We wonder if some of these changes will continue after the crisis ends, if it ever ends. Many people are quick to point out that many employees of firms may continue to work remotely due to several reasons. COVID could change the employment paradigm as we know it. Changes to the employment paradigm are being discussed more frequently in larger publications, so I will attempt to discuss other paradigms that might be impacted in the long run following COVID.

Education could see significant changes to the norm following COVID. While many institutions and/or disciplines failed miserably in the transition to digital learning, some exceeded expectations. Of course, there are drawbacks to online classes. Lack of interaction, difficulty with office hours, and perhaps adverse effects on collaboration. Online classes do provide benefits, however. For the population of students that are not interested in on-site classes perhaps plunging universities into digital learning will result in an expansion of online degrees. Online degrees are almost always considerably cheaper than on-site degrees. With many young adults struggling with student loans, many universities could expand their offering of online degrees in order to meet the financial needs of students.
A smaller point in the education paradigm is snow days. Will in-person classes be canceled to inclement weather anymore? The argument could be made that classes will just go online for the day. Perhaps alleviating the stress on school boards everywhere, hopefully swaying school boards to be over-cautious. Many students, faculty, and staff pass away tragically due to inclement weather accidents.

It will be interesting to see if the COVID crisis has any impact on the financial management of firms. As many businesses fail or undergo layoffs. It makes me wonder if perhaps more firms will decide to save money rather than reinvest earnings into the company. It is possible executives will see COVID as a once in a lifetime crisis and continue to have a higher propensity to spend earnings. One industry that could be impacted by this is universities. While many universities continue to bloat payroll many administrators that are really not needed or spend large sums of money on construction projects, perhaps many universities will now see the need to save a higher percentage of tuition. Some Universities are even being sued to see if they must repay parts of tuitions to students. An interesting scenario.
In the technology industry, many over-leveraged tech companies could significantly alter the way they do business. With many startups laying off employees and rescinding offers, perhaps they will come to the conclusion that they need to reduce expenses while they still continue to be in the red. This perspective is somewhat particular to newer tech startups that continue to pull in funding but still have no money to save due to failing to post a profit.

Hopefully, I can revisit this topic later on when the dust settles.


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