Recently, I wasn’t able to put much time nor effort into my personal projects and studies after I started my military service. There are projects that are in need of some work, but I simply don’t have the resources. I also started reading The Operating System Concepts book (The dinosaur book so that I could keep up with the studies and try not to distance myself too far from computer science. However, the progress is subtle compared to my expectations. Leaving the disastrous year behind, I started 2021 expecting it to be significantly different, but so far, it doesn’t seem to be far better than I have expected.
However, after giving it some thought, I started to think if I was expecting too much from me though I am in the lows. In addition to COVID-19, I also started my military service. I don’t think it’s even worth comparing to the glorious times when I worked as an intern and code all day. Therefore, I came to a conclusion that I should focus on the fact that I am making progress even if that progress may be subtle. Instead of being stagnant, I think consistently making small steps is the way. So, my first move was to write on my blog.
Recently, I came across a survey done by Harvard. According to the survey done against approximately 1500 participants, about 81% of people responded that they would prefer to work from home or in a hybrid method even if COVID-19 settles down. In addition, 1 out of 3 participants stated that they have been more productive compared to the previous year. This interesting survey result made me curious on what would actually happen if people continued to work from home even if COVID-19 became a past.
First, one of the virtues of telecommuting is the riddance of commute. Personally, I had a horrible experience with the commute using the metro in Seoul. Getting to the office building was a pain and got me exhausted before I even started working. Commute by car was also terrifying. The roads are full of cars, and it sometimes feels like walking would be faster.
Working from home gets rid of all the tedious process. This, in turn, might have a serious impact on the automobile industry. Although I am not familiar with the taxes related to vehicles in the USA but in Korea, it costs quite a bit to own a car. When commuting to and from work (which is one of the main reasons for owning a personal vehicle) is not needed, owning a car might become a trophy instead of a necessity. When in need to travel a long distance, renting a car might be a better option.
In the case where commute is not needed, I think it can also aid in the decentralization of major cities. High population density is fatal to disasters like the COVID-19. However, it is quite challenging to just leave the city and live in the suburbs. Cities are opportunities for new kinds of services and the successful ones plays a key factor for bringing in more people to the city. Although it is challenging to build a new city in a day, it is bound to hit a limit even if it reaches for the sky or dig underground. Being able to work in a major corporation of a company of your dream might be play a key role in the causation of the decentralization.
In addition, regardless of continuing to work from home, I think the food industry will undergo a major modification. Before COVID-19, many visited the restaurant to get food and meet people, but today, many including me, prefer to take the food on the go or deliver it to our doorsteps. After experiencing the convenience of food delivery, if the purpose of ordering food is to fulfill my hunger, I think I will prefer to use the delivery service instead of visiting. As a result, restaurants might reduce the tables and actually use the space efficiently to reduce costs.
To summarize, the world is going through an unprecedented change that has never been shown to the world. I am limited by my imagination and have no clue on how it will be like after COVID-19, but I hope it follows a better path.