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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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How will Covid-19 change things forever?

We're all hoping our society can weather the storm. And as software developers we're most certainly not the ones most at risk of personal disruption.

Anyway, how do you see our global society changing forever in the fallout of this event?

Top comments (36)

yaser profile image
Yaser Al-Najjar • Edited
  • Pros:

People will embrace remote work, and they'll realize how productive it is.

  • Cons:

I'm afraid there will be large numbers of deaths (like World War) 😬

I've mentioned some numbers here:

artis3n profile image
Ari Kalfus

Alternatively: the stress of taking care of family arrangements, housekeepers and nannies being unavailable, etc. other unique problems due to the virus will put a lot of people off of remote work.

kayis profile image

Yes, I have to admit, while I think remote work is a superpower, I really think it's not for everyone.

If it creates extra work, as you said, it can be better to simply leave the house and work in an office.

kylefilegriffin profile image
Kyle Griffin

Twitter is saying "watch and see how bosses will see how working remotely doesn't hinder productivity and actually saves money"

It was not about the money. They keep you working in the building because it's where they can keep an eye on you.

So the real concern for me is that this forced remote working is going to create a lot of tension between teams and management as there is not enough time to slowly phase it in. Its implementing a massive change to the company dynamic without any proper risk assessment.

kayis profile image


I saw so many companies in my time that were like "We don't do time tracking here, come to work when you like!" and then became huge privacy liabilities when things didn't work out.

New investor, replaced management, MBA starts to turn everything on its head, people leaving the company. Some soulless work creation scheme in form of a company left.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

So the real concern for me is that this forced remote working is going to create a lot of tension between teams and management as there is not enough time to slowly phase it in.

I can definitely say that our approach of slow and steady was really great.

It took time and iterations.

lleonardogr profile image
Leonardo Gasparini Romão

I don't think so, maybe some countries like Italy or even China will reform their public health structures, but according to some biologists, the Coronavirus will probably have a vaccine treatment in a few months, and with this, global society will returning into an normal state after that. But this is only my opinion

bairrada97 profile image

even if they find a vaccine today, will take around 12 to 18 months to go out and be commercialised

lleonardogr profile image
Leonardo Gasparini Romão

This can be true, but apparently, the progress to create a vaccine this time is impressive comparing to other diseases in the past, so, I believe that we will not be so affected by this virus, in a social way I mean

davelsan profile image
David Velasco

I'm worried that this could be used as yet another excuse to arbitrarily close borders and limit people's freedoms. This is a delicate situation, so we'll have to wait and see.

On the positive side, I'm happy that many business are starting to appreciate the benefits of remote work and having people with the skillet to do so effectively.

matthewbdaly profile image
Matthew Daly • Edited

We're definitely looking at a recession in the short to medium term, with all the grief that brings. Our industry tends to be quite robust in that regard because there already weren't enough developers to go round, but it's still potentially stressful for us, not to mention our friends, family and loved ones.

Also, while I naturally want this crisis to be managed as well as humanly possible, I have very little confidence in many of the current populist leaders. If this goes badly, they'll either be exposed as ineffectual, or will use it to justify more authoritarian policies.

nasoma profile image

In the developing world, leaders will may be forced to invest in better local healthcare. It will finally dawn on them that you can't always fly our to Europe or India for treatment even if you have money to facilitate such trips and treatment.

allanmacgregor profile image
Allan MacGregor 🇨🇦

Depending on how long this extends, remote work might become more prevalent if not a new normal. The economy is getting hit hard, so it is possible we will see layoffs and hit the tech ecosystem, think about all the affected startups Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, etc.

deanius profile image
Dean Radcliffe

I think our increased physical separation will make realtime technologies more urgently needed. How much of is live updating, Ben?

deanius profile image
Dean Radcliffe

I just saw your podcast features - seems like a step in the right direction!

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel ( • Edited

People will be an awful lot physically isolated for one month at the very least

Pro: this helps flatten the curve helping people to not die

Con: there is an epidemic of anxiety and loneliness and depression coming if we do nothing.

Fortumately doing something is really simple. Reach out to your friends and family, listen, ask how they feel, ask how you can help, suggest movies to watch, books to read. Do art. Write. Learn something

I wrote about it here

madza profile image

If you think about it, we are privileged to have an opportunity to work and communicate remotely as well as having advantages of advanced medical technologies to cure diseases.

For example, imagine being among the people forced to go work to earn money for food in 1346–1353 during the Black Plague which took est. 70M-200M lives.

axelledrouge profile image

I am hoping desesperely that when our (french) president says that he understood (finally) that Health and Food should not be considered like any other goods, he actually means it. And that when he says that we will be keeping many of the protections after the crisis, he is truthful. because last thursday, when he enumerated the measures that would be put in place for the protection of the people, it was like everything we ever asked and repeated for the climate and social justice was finally understood! like "oh ? we should protect our health care system ? the hospitals and healths workers should be supported ? incredible ! that is NOT AT ALL (sarcasm) what they asked repeatedly since a YEAR!" what a discovery !
so yeah, currently I am confined at home, and I understand completely why it is necessary. Currently we are sitting on the deficit because, well now that is not the priority. And currently we are regretting the fact that we are soo dependent on others because now globalization is not that great. It had good points but the model went too far. we must now become more resilient in smaller cities and group. we must develop again agriculture, with shorts circuits from the producer to the customer. We must insure that healthcare and medecines are not dependents on production from China without alternatives.
If this crisis put finally the break on globalization, and financiarization of the economy, and we can work on a new model more resilient and more adaptative to impacts and risks (like redundancy in servers, we know how important it is, our like Peer-to-peer) then we will win.
if this change doesn't happen, then ... well take care

recurs1v0 profile image

I wrote my first post on 5 points about how this might change Mobile Industry (Apps)

Also added few notes in the comments, let me know if you have any thoughts

recurs1v0 profile image

Apple's App Review process usually takes 24 - 48 hours.
Now it's taking around 72-120 hours to review an app.

Which is a good thing, considering their focus on new apps that are related to this topic.

Last Saturday Apple posted this:

Ensuring the Credibility of Health & Safety Information

"We understand the need to get these apps into the hands of customers as soon as possible ... since App Store review may take longer."

For all the apps that are being developed right now about this topic, we need to ensure quality and fake-less-ness is part of the mix.

stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee • Edited

Without getting into the tragedies (or permanent damage) befalling so many, or the stupid culture war raging over masks and schools and lockdowns, or how such a crisis is a would-be dictator's wet dream (and I'm not picking a side politically, they're all power-lusting parasites to me):

My optimistic take?

Companies will realize that:

  • knowledge workers can be far more productive without distractions and commutes
  • office space (and HVAC, and security, and...) is ridiculously, exorbitantly overpriced, and that money can be better invested in workforce allowed to work from anywhere

Employees will stand up for themselves more, e.g. either not returning to the office or finding new jobs which don't require them to.

Micromanagers (who are currently in full blown panic mode) will be exposed for the ineffective frauds they are, as they grow more frantic to "prove" (yet less able to make the case) that it's their cracking of the proverbial whip that gets things done.

New startups will emerge, born of necessity and ingenuity.

My pessimistic take?

Few of the lessons from COVID will stick long-term, and even the companies now embracing remote work are a management shakeup away from pulling a Marissa Meyer and calling everyone back to the office.

During a protracted recession, employees will take anything they can and dutifully return to the office.

Even in companies remaining remote, micromanagers will weather the storm and simply impose more spying methods on employees.

Companies large and small will fail, and both economic fallout and government interference will lead to more corporate consolidation/less competition (just like they did a little over a decade ago).

agiletechvn profile image
AgileTech Vietnam

According to Google, “since the first week of February, search interest in coronavirus increased by +260% globally.” Let's see how it changes:
👉 Communicating effectively and efficiently is going to be key
👉 A lot of work culture will be temporarily changed as companies start to deploy mandatory work from home policies
👉 If you are in the travel and tourism industry, things are changing by the day

COVID-19 has unfortunately affected the health and wellbeing worldwide. Many, if not most, businesses are already feeling the effects of the virus, and staying up to date with information is key.

But it also the opportunity for outsourcing company like us. We are on COVID-19 data channel project based on AI technology. If you are interested, feel free to visit us