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Carlos Hondal

The World is changing before our eyes

As we move through our new shelter at home universe, I can’t help but notice that we will have a new world waiting for us when we get through this difficult time. As this journey begins to unfold, we should expect the following in our personal, social and business environments:

  1. Space in our person-to-person interaction will increase. What will really happen to hand-shakes and hugs and kisses on the cheek?

Regarding kisses on the cheek, I am Hispanic (Cuban) and kissing someone (on the cheek) that you know and have worked with or have met, is normal. My French friends and co-workers kiss twice, once on the left and then the right cheek!  We may replace it with a noble and respectful bow, like some of the Asian cultures.  I hope not; I do not honestly know.

  1. Space in business and space during business travel will also increase. Meetings will be less or more one on one meetings and less board meetings? More video conference meetings, even within the same building or same floor.  Do we really know how much this will increase? Customer connection and customer “contact” has to continue in some way for ALL businesses.
  2. Will we have to become more automated, more digital and use new and additional electronic connections like medical checkups to be healthy? Healthy physically, socially and in business? Very likely.

However, I hope we do not lose the human touch (ever!). We were actually losing this connection before this Pandemic and because it was required. This increased the need for less human interaction, during the pandemic.  This resulted in us being forced to stay further away from each other. During the Pandemic, I couldn’t hug and kiss my adult daughter (a pharmacist, who works at a hospital and a clinic), my adult son (a CPA, who works as a manager in a publicly traded company).  Many other examples of these missed opportunities to show you care and love.  My wife may have been happier regarding my kisses to her, but not I. However, we did see how the helpers, first-responders, doctors/nurses during this crisis came out and brought smiles to all our faces each day showing ALL the world compassion and love. Just today in the news, we saw an ICU doctor clean an ICU room to help a custodian, who did not have as much protective gear, clean up the contaminated room. He didn’t have to do this, but he did. Love and compassion on full display brings me hope to this new world we will live in after the Coronavirus Pandemic.

  1. All industries will change in the way we deliver services and products. More involvement will likely come from regulatory and governmental bodies.  Our job will be to keep the balance in oversite. Any extreme is bad and extreme control and involvement from the government against a person or a people or an industry is a recipe for disaster, short-term or long-term, it will always be a disaster.
  2. All consumers will change. They will expect and pay (likely at a premium) for a better/safer way to deliver our offered services or products. Those businesses who are flexible, who listen and proactively change will be in the best position to thrive after this Pandemic.
  3. The way we participate in our faith, our entertainment and our sports (which is a reflection of life in many ways) will also change. Some fundamental elements will still be essential and true, like the human touch, the heartfelt story, a special movie or song and the unexpected victory from defeat will bring back crowds, both in person and in the digital space.
  4. Our requirement of personal financial security and privacy will be more in demand and required because of the changes noted above. Companies that can deliver these services and products will grow and succeed.

This Coronavirus Pandemic is not a business issue, IT issue, finance issue, government or Human Resource issue. It is a HEALTH issue that should force us to pull together and help, not hurt our families or cities or our respective country. (I hope it does and it did.) Once we get through this strange and unique journey in our global neighborhood, we will be better and closer to each other. As we know the world is very small, we should understand and keep that in mind while respecting our specific history, culture and beliefs.  I hope that allows us to still shake hands, give a gentle hug and kiss people we know on the cheek, maybe once, instead of twice!

Be safe and be healthy.

United States

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