Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, during a panel discussion on building human capital in Washington, in a file photo (.)
Bill gates He was one of the first to worry about the damage that a pandemic could cause to the health of the world population and the economy of the affected countries. He predicted this years ago and during long conferences sponsored by the Gates Foundation, was dedicated to alerting the authorities on the matter. Until it finally happened: the coronavirus was born in Wuhan, China, but it quickly spread to the rest of the globe causing more than 1,300,000 deaths in a year.
On Monday night, the founding businessman of Microsoft published his popular podcast alongside Rashida Jones in which he not only spoke about the current crisis, but also about the consequences that it will have on the lives of people and companies. Entitled “What will the world look like after COVID-19?”, Gates offered an overview of what could happen from these cultural changes in international and local firms. During the broadcast he listed -without doing so explicitly- a series of changes that will take place in the future.
FIRST. For the man who possesses the second largest fortune in the universe – second only to Jeff Bezos, from Amazon– the coronavirus will alter in the future -once the pandemic is over- the way people traveled and conducted business until last March. “Like WWII brought women into the workforce and a lot of that stuck, this idea of ’Do I have to go there physically?‘… we will be allowed to ask that”. For GatesThis trend will continue even for more casual or more routine encounters, such as work meetings. “The idea of learning or having a doctor’s appointment or a sales call where only one screen is used with Zoom or Microsoft Teams will change dramatically”Predicted the founder of Microsoft.
Gates He also believes that presence in offices will be greatly reduced. In the same podcast she shares with actress Jones, she said she believed “that people will go to the office less. You could even share offices with a company that has employees who arrive on different days than they arrive.”. What the man who predicted the coronavirus pandemic is talking about is that staff turnover could become a constant from COVID-19, although it no longer represents a threat.
SECOND. According to his forecast, even the tools we have today to maintain a virtual meeting will change drastically, allowing that cultural change to be even more pronounced and effective. “The software it was a bit clunky when this all started, but now people are using it so much that you’ll be surprised how quickly we’ll innovate with it software”.
THIRD. The new work modality will even allow to redefine urban life, communities. If you do not have the need to be in the office every day, this will allow you to get away from the highly populated urban centers, whose rents are – due to the high demand – very high. “In cities like Seattle and San Francisco … even a person who is well paid is spending an incredible amount of his money on his rent”, Warns the businessman and philanthropist.
FOURTH. “I think the amount of social contact you have at work may decrease, so the desire to have more social contact in your community or with your friends at night, you know, could increase because if we are doing a lot of remote work, then our desire to socialize, our energy to socialize after we stop working, will be a little older. I could change the balance a bit thereGates commented.
Bill Gates is one of the biggest promoters for the coronavirus vaccine to reach developing countries (Gates Foundation)
FIFTH. Despite the fact that the vaccine could be available to a large part of the population in record time -considering the development of others for other diseases-, Gates believes that normality as it was known until the beginning of 2019 will not return for a long time. People, according to his projection, will remain fearful of taking risks if the entire population is not yet immunized. “There is a phase where we are going to have very low numbers in the United States, but it will continue to be in other parts of the world, so it could resurface. I think that many people will remain quite conservative in their behavior, especially if they associate with older people whose risk of becoming seriously ill is quite high”, Indicated in his popular podcast.
SIXTH. Finally, the founder of Microsoft considers that although there could be another pandemic, it should not necessarily be as severe as the COVID-19 was. Above all, he believes that the world will be more prepared to contain it. “The main reason it will have a less destructive impact is that we will already have practice. We would have played disease games like war games, and almost every country will respond as South Korea or Australia did, where people are screened and quarantined very quickly, and our testing tools will be much better. We won’t be so stupid the second time”, He concluded.
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