Living in lockdown: How people are using technology to adapt

Some facts about the role of the latest technology during lockdown



At the start of 2020, leaves were turned and we were armed with our new year’s
resolutions. We never expected that by March we would be on lockdown by the
government, only allowed to go out for essential items and to go to work if
absolutely necessary. The impact of Covid-19 has been huge – not just
health-wise, but economically. During this unpredictable time, people have
quickly adapted to a remote way of work and play through the use of the latest
technology. The pandemic forced the people to adopt new technology due to the
COVID-19 effect and the way it is spreading.   

We’ve been stripped of many basic things we do to give our lives fulfillment – in
aid of slowing down the spread of coronavirus and saving lives. Out of all of this,
novel ways of doing the things we love have emerged through the use of
technology, and people have quickly adapted themselves to this new way of
living.
People are working from home, buying from home and even studying or giving
exams from home. There has also been a great increase in social media usage
during the lockdown. From the youngest to the oldest member of every family
can be found on using any form of social media.

Let’s take a look at some of the trends that have emerged.

WORKING

During the government enforced lockdown many have shifted to working
remotely. This shift has increased the use of video conferencing tools and other
workplace applications – giving us some semblance of business as usual.
An article by The Economist noted: “The next few months are set to be a giant
experiment in whether new technologies can allow successful mass remote
working for employees, speeding up the reinvention of the office.”
Since the outbreak, Microsoft Teams saw an outstanding 500% increase in the
usage of meetings, calls, and conferences in China. Zoom, another video
conferencing tool, has had record levels of usage.
Slack, which allows staff to communicate easily via a chat application, has seen
a 40% increase in paid subscribers this quarter. Above all, communication is key.

Exercising

With gyms and fitness centers closed many people are unable to maintain their usual fitness routines. This has triggered a rise in at-home workouts, with people turning to online classes to keep fit.
Peloton, offering live stream and on-demand workouts saw stocks rise by more than a fifth in just a couple of days, and are offering a 90 day free trial on their app.
Some fitness chains have sprung into action to offer lockdown-friendly online classes. PureGym announced the release of PureGym Home, a section of on-demand classes and at-home workouts available through the PureGym app for members.
Fly Ldn is offering free 45-minute yoga and Barre classes and Barry’s is offering free 30-minute full-body workouts both live via their Instagram feeds.
Celebrity nutrition coach Joe Wicks has been hosting free P.E. classes for kids on his YouTube channel, live at 9 am Mondays to Fridays. On his website, Joe said: “With the schools closed and with us all spending more time at home, it’s more important than ever that we keep moving and stay healthy and positive.” His first-class has had almost 5 million views on Youtube.

Wellness

Wellness and looking after our mental health particularly at this time is paramount. With all of us spending a lot more time at home, people have been adopting technology to help aid them in wellness and self-care routines.
Meditation and mindfulness apps have had a surge in downloads since the outbreak of coronavirus.
Calm is ranked seventh on the Apple App store’s list of free health and fitness apps, and offers guided meditation and help with sleep.
Guided meditation app Headspace is offering healthcare professionals free use of their premium content until the end of April.
Many people have also been turning to online resources for mental health. 

Socializing

With in-person social interactions out of the window, for now, people have been utilizing technology to socialize with their peers.
Supermarkets have had to deal with a surge of people stock-piling products amid the panic of the pandemic. Toilet paper, pasta, and cleaning products were among the most popular items to go first.
With many supermarket shelves bare, non-essential shops closed and many people self-isolating, online shopping has completely blown up.
Amazon will be hiring 100,000 additional staff to deal with the increase in demand.
As well as our essentials, board games, yeast, and books are among some of the most popular items people are purchasing.
Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow reportedly said: “People are currently purchasing items based on three needs: to protect, to entertain, and to connect.”

Technology as an enabler


Technology has been fundamental in allowing people to do the things they love
remotely; from online fitness classes to socializing with friends. But, technology
isn’t always enough. At District, we strongly believe that technology is an
enabler, a layer to remove friction from our everyday lives.
Whether you’re using Uber, Facebook, or Google Maps, technology makes it
seamless to travel to meet friends or get home after a night out. Technology
reminds you of those important anniversaries and birthdays at the ping of a
push notification. Technology allows you to organize your next big meet-up with family through group chats.

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