The world will be a different place as it emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, with Australians’ work, life and travel permanently changed by the pandemic, according to a new report by KPMG, Our New Reality: Predictions after COVID-19.
Remote working and digital commerce will rise across all industries, as the 9-5 workday is challenged and corporate real estate needs are impacted. Work will be measured by outcome rather than input, with a more flexible approach as leaders understand and work with the personal circumstances of their employees. Current organisational hierarchies will no longer fit this new reality, with a shift to flatter and more fluid, task-based work processes instead.
Emerging technology will be another driver of this change, with the 5G rollout boosting speed and reliability across Australia, making remote work much easier and more viable. The mass adoption of video conferencing and collaboration apps will also grow the need for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies, expanding their current niche use cases.
"We expect to see a previously unimaginable boost to the simultaneous transformation of industries and society. The onset of COVID-19 has exposed existing weak links across industries, government and in our economy. The urgency and importance of addressing these weak links has radically shifted and many decisions and discussions have been brought forward,” says James Mabbott, Partner-in-Charge, KPMG Futures.
"At the same time it raises many questions. With more people working from home, demand for large infrastructure projects won’t uniformly return to pre-COVID levels. How will cities adapt to this new world? Will the shifts towards remote working be a catalyst to reduce emissions – balanced with increased energy demand in residential sittings?" he asks.
The report predicts a four stage path through recovery:
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