It has been seven months since the coronavirus took the world by storm. In what felt like a blink of an eye, so many previous lifestyle choices became obsolete and even dangerous. With new social distancing guidelines, we have had to re-think how our houses are built, how we consume our food and media, and even how we dress.
There is no doubt that with a situation as extreme as a pandemic comes a new normal, and with a new normal comes new ways of living. Here are some home, lifestyle, and consumer trends that will define and shape our post-corona world.
A return to more traditional architectural design
One of the major ways the pandemic has affected the world is the way homes are designed. Since the 1990s, an open floor plan—a design in which two or more shared spaces, like the living room, dining room, and kitchen are joined together to form a larger area without partitions—has been the go-to for most homeowners. It creates a sense of commonality and openness between family members and a feeling of light and airiness in the room. It’s also the best possible floor plan for receiving numerous guests.
An open space floor plan may be more aesthetically pleasing and may give a spirit of openness in the house, but it leaves very little room for social distancing. It’s not the most convenient design for when a family member needs to isolate. The coronavirus may force us to go back to when the main hallway served as an artery or a pathway between common rooms. In the new normal, architects and residential or building contractors may find themselves factoring this in.
A renewed interest in self-sufficiency
When the lockdowns were first announced in March, many consumers resorted to panic buying, causing a supply shortage in many supermarkets. Because of the pandemic and its effects, people are re-thinking many aspects of their lifestyle, namely, their food consumption. There may also be a growing trend of people choosing homes with access to nature so that they can grow their own produce.
The West Coast fires also have the world’s attention, reminding us of the reality and perils of climate change. Many homeowners may now consider living a more sustainable lifestyle by transitioning to renewable energy. They may also look for homes with access to natural lighting, which lessens reliance on electrical lighting.
New realities demand new behaviors, and consumers across the globe now realize that the way they lived before the pandemic may not be able to help them survive the new reality.
A more multifunctional home
Experts project that 25-30% of the workforce will still be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. It lines up with the projection that COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for the next few years.
Another factor that may change the way we set up our homes is the reality that remote work is the new normal. For now, commercial buildings will be of the past as the world’s workforce has moved their offices to their homes. When you have children, the home must also be a place for studying. Fitness is also a major factor, as people are not able to go to the gym.
When our residences used to be a place for rest, now moving forward, the home will be a place where we do almost everything—working, eating, exercising, studying, and others. The home must now have designated areas where all these activities can take place.
A temporary farewell to the cinema and live entertainment
2020 has forced billions of consumers all over the globe to change the way they consume media drastically. People have been forced to do everything online—shopping, connection, and entertainment—putting a temporary halt to going to theaters and live entertainment.
The film industry is projected to bounce back from the coronavirus crisis. Still, as long as there are intermittent lockdowns, it will not enjoy the same stability it did pre-pandemic. Concerts are another source of entertainment that won’t be making a comeback for the next year or so.
Since the start of the year, entertainment companies all over the world have found ways to reach new audiences through online concerts and meet-and-greets. Paid streaming services saw significant growth since the quarantines started. If the curve remains unflattened, consuming entertainment through our devices’ screens might be our standard for a while.
Adapt to Survive
Human beings are incredibly resilient. We have survived a pandemic before, and we will do it again. But for now, let’s do everything we can to protect the vulnerable—even if it means changing the way we live.