The post lockdown developments are being keenly watched and data is being monitored. Every effort - from economic boost packages, focus on healthcare, applause for frontline workers and appeals on humane grounds to sustain and revive the economy due to the crisis is being carried out.
Work and life will never be the same again. The world is seeing major social, behavioral and social changes. Amidst all of this, technology will play a key role at every level both in the public and private sector. Firms which provide technology-based solutions in the various fields like healthcare, urban reforms, climate change, education and many others, can become the crucial problem solvers during these times.
The World Economic Forum report had indicated that the jobs of the future are set to grow by 51% in the horizon up to 2020 and had projected 6.1 million job opportunities globally mainly in the adoption of new technologies—giving rise to greater demand for Green Economy jobs and roles at the forefront of the Data and AI economy. While these numbers would no longer hold good following Covid 19, technological progress is essential to economic growth and can accelerate the economic revival efforts. Investments into technology at this point of time and even after, can save the time it takes to produce a good or deliver a service, contribute to the overall profits of a business, increase business output rate efficiency, increase division of labour and job specialization.
Post the corona crisis, the world would see increased use of virtual technology for meetings, substantial investment in science and medicine, use of AI and cloud based technology, increase in e-learning, wide use of telemedicine and reduction in overheads including lower rents and travel costs. Work from home and virtual meetings will be part of the routine work culture. Governments are going to be bigger, stronger and hopefully more efficient with a rise in nationalism and self-dependency. Even the Government would need to increase its use of technology and automation in all areas including the distribution and management of its social sector programs in health, education, public distribution, employment guarantee etc besides its regular operations. There will be a reduction in field visits and human interaction.
It is here that a collaborative action across industries and other stakeholders to develop future-proof workforce strategies and support at-risk workers with reskilling and upskilling will play a crucial role. Not only will it have the potential to facilitate digital transformation but can also limit job losses in the wake of the current recession. A preliminary assessment International Labour Organization (ILO) report on COVID-19 and world of work: Impacts and Responses mentions that nearly 25 million jobs could be lost due to the corona crisis. If Covid persists further, the numbers would be much higher as is already being seen in the USA.
Hence, at a time like this, all key stakeholders should be putting their heads together to mitigate the economic impact of this worldwide pandemic and suggest an implementable strategy. Technology will be at the core of all these strategies, especially in a sector like healthcare.