Our lives and technology intertwine. From the second we awaken to the second we go to bed, we are in touch with technology and the internet. With recent events having shifted work from the office to the home, it was only a matter of time before specific industries switched to the home office and forced you to search for a new job through different platforms.
The stay-at-home economy is here to stay to deliver efficient, quick, and satisfying outcomes to the average consumer. This consumption ranges from goods to services such as education. Households have also found themselves integrating technology in places they haven’t seen before, for example, smart washing machines that can start washing anytime through an app.
The way workplaces have shifted to households is through the digitization of meetings and the past gradual integration of technical programs. If something can be done online, it probably is. The economy is now faster-paced, more efficient, and more comfortable for workers.
The industries discussed in this article are digital learning and webinars, mental and general healthcare, shopping, entertainment, and education.
Benefits of staying home
The apparent benefits of working from home include better personal schedule management, increased personal time, better work output thanks to more rest, and a generally better sense of self thanks to the comfortable environment you find yourself in.
Disadvantages of staying home
The disadvantages of working from home include decreased parasocial interaction, increased loneliness, less exercise, and potential sleep issues. This economical style isn’t for everyone, but its benefits outweigh the negatives.
Digital learning is acquiring knowledge or skills through the internet or technology. Learning relies on communication technologies, be they virtual or digital. Thanks to information being so widely available across the internet, e-learning and digital learning have become convenient.
Digital learning encompasses the general use of technology whilst learning. This can include tools and gadgets, as well as systems and applications. E-learning is learning something virtually, such as online university courses.
The benefits of digital learning are many. First, you can access materials whenever you like from wherever. The flexibility and freedom this gives learners allow them to solve any scheduling issues that may arise and increase motivation toward learning since it doesn’t make it feel like a chore. Collaboration is also made easier thanks to this.
You will also find that digital learning is more engaging to users thanks to the different formats it can take on, from mini online quizzes to its organized visual structure. Lastly, this home-focused industry creates a more personalized learning environment, which most public academic establishments need help to provide for their students.
Mental and Healthcare
Our healthcare systems’ biggest struggle, especially during the pandemic, was an influx of patients and no capacity to handle them. This event pushed healthcare facilities to convert to a digital format for less serious tasks such as symptom checking, quick diagnosis, education, and prevention.
Telehealth provides patients with quick and convenient answers to any questions or problems they may face using AI and open-source platforms. As mentioned earlier, prevention is the key to digital healthcare. With proper prevention for preventable diseases and health problems, hospitals can focus on more severe cases of flu patients every year.
Mental healthcare is also digitized through virtual therapy sessions held by healthcare professionals. This form of mental healthcare can be beneficial in many ways, keeping patients in an environment where they feel most comfortable: their homes. In addition, this increases the likelihood of breakthroughs with medical professionals.
Patients can also easily schedule more hours with a mental health professional thanks to geolocation having no boundaries.
The concept of digital shopping isn’t a new one, yet it is currently booming more than ever. With tides having increasingly shifted online, it is only natural that shopping online is taking over.
Digital shopping doesn’t only encompass clothing but also furniture, household appliances, and even groceries. In addition, the logistics of digital shopping are so efficient you can get same-day delivery on your groceries or even orders from certain companies such as Amazon.
This form of shopping broadens the customer circle for all businesses and provides the extra benefit of products and services being viewable 24/7. Profit margins show an increase after businesses made this switch. By focusing on user-friendly websites, applications, and social media pages, digital shopping can be successful for any company.
The entertainment industry is no stranger to digitization. Streaming services, gaming, and social media are at an all-time high showing no signs of stopping. So not only are we transgressing into a stay-at-home economy, but we also run an attention-reaction economy. Our attention is on the digital world most of the time now. We work, study, and even relax on it.
Streaming service prices are competitive as ever, yet we see the gaming industry calm down on their pricing. Most triple-A games average $60, and most indie games average $20. This means prices are usually foreseeable and static.
The reason entertainment is such a massive force to reckon with, thanks to digitization, is partly due to convenience. Since you can watch a movie from anywhere, as well as comfort and pricing.
Education has become a spiderweb of tools, programs, and information accessible anywhere. As mentioned in the digital learning section, the convenience it provides students and teachers alike is increasing its popularity. It removes the need for commuting (thus providing people with more energy and time to learn), and it also eliminates the need for locations and bills.
During the pandemic, schools moved online to keep the educational system running, highlighting the ease with which they could switch and underlining specific issues with this methodology and the way they teach.
Digital education can easily come with distractions, making it harder for students to focus. Since they could be doing other, more entertaining things on the same device, they are learning. It boils down to keeping students engaged as teachers and planting healthy motivation in them from a young age.
The switch from regular to digital school highlighted the importance of bettering our curriculums as times have changed. Students need more engagement and the freedom from more personalized learning to succeed individually.
The rising stay-at-home economy is here to stay. And with our world turning into a Black Mirror episode rather than a sci-fi utopia, it is time we made some positive changes in our outlooks and opinions regarding the digitization of many of our industries. We also educated ourselves on the dangers and disadvantages of said digitization.
Gergo Vari is the founder and CEO of Lensa. His journey as a founder of multiple successful job boards and recruitment startups has taught him that the traditional process of searching for a job is broken.