• Sydney Phillips

6 ways Coronavirus will Permanently Change Gen-Z

Over the past month, coronavirus has quickly escalated in the United States. Wherever you listen, you’ve been affected but with such an uniquely challenging event, it’s hard to pinpoint how life will return post-corona. While some seem to think it will go back to normal, this possibility while optimistic is far from likely. So what can we do to be prepared? What’s going to change? While there are hundreds of ways that coronavirus will change our world as we know it, I’ve decided to focus on just 6 ways that it will permanently change Gen-Z.

The first is global resilience. From coffee-shops, and grocery stores to dinner with friends, these moments used to be constantly interrupted by our phones and hurried through to get onto the next task of the day. These minor moments will be replaced with presence and appreciation for community, as we are careful about the things we take for granted.

The second way is our loss of innocence. We now know that being in close quarters with people, not washing your hands, touching the elevator keys, or being in big crowds is risky. The old comfort of being around people could be replaced with a feeling of being alone, especially those who we don’t know. There’s some interesting stories about how this will affect the growth of mega-cities as well and the hustle and bustle of New York City where the streets are crowded with people from around the world.

The third way coronavirus will permanently change Gen-Z is the importance of corporate reaction to the crisis. As millennials and Gen-Z were ostracized for their lack of loyalty to employers, we will ask our employers about their loyalty to their teams during Covid-19. Did they fire all of their team overnight? Did they furlough or did they keep the books running? Unsurprisingly, the adaptability of millennials and Gen-Z allowed these groups to respond more openly and adapt to the pandemic quickly.

The fourth way is the increase in remote workers. Perhaps this one is a little more obvious -- but as teams have shifted online many workers have reported an increased level of productivity. They can now throw in the laundry while working on their annual reports. Employees will begin to ask “Is there a reason to do this in person?” However, this will leave the 56% of the world, totaling to roughly 4 billion people who don’t have the internet farther behind in every aspect.

The fifth way coronavirus will permanently change Gen-Z is a decline in polarization. The pure shock of coronavirus left American’s to figure out how to serve themselves and others. While some were busy buying carts of toilet paper, others were figuring out how to help their favorite restaurants and small shops. Coronavirus became the “common enemy” rather than each other and in return we took time to care for one another.

The sixth way coronavirus will permanently change Gen-Z is a boon to virtual reality. As our homes have become our place of work, family, worship, fitness and everything in between, a change of scenery can feel like a new boost. Virtual reality will certainly become more popular and widely adapted in correlation to the increase of remote workers.