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The New Homebodies P1506 June 2020

Authors: Guy Garrud and Martin Schwirn (Send us feedback.)

The pandemic's forcing many people to stay at home is resulting in a variety of behavior changes, some of which may be permanent.

Abstracts in this Pattern:

In a recent article, University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, Maryland), psychologist Arie Kruglanski explains some of the psychological changes that people are going through because of the coronavirus-disease-19 (covid-19) pandemic. Dr. Kruglanski highlights that the feeling of helplessness people are experiencing because of the pandemic increases their desire to be social; however, the social-distancing measures currently in place around the world are preventing people from interacting with one another in person. Some recent developments might be a result of this situation. For example, in New York, New York, animal-welfare organizations such as Muddy Paws Rescue and Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue (both New York, New York) are reporting high demand for dog adoptions during the pandemic. People are likely adopting pets for companionship during this period of social distancing; however, the animal-welfare organizations are concerned that as the pandemic continues, people who become very ill or face financial challenges will have to surrender the pets they adopted. Likewise, many people who are unable to socialize in person are playing video games with others online or even using communications technologies and collaboration platforms to play board games or attend virtual dinner parties with remote friends—activities they may continue to engage in even after the pandemic ends.

The covid-19 pandemic is also changing many people's work life. For example, numerous companies are requiring large proportions of their employees to work from home during the pandemic. This change has led to dramatic increases in the number of subscriptions to and the use of collaboration tools and services from companies such as Zoom Video Communications (San Jose, California), Slack Technologies (San Francisco, California), and Microsoft (Redmond, Washington). Companies can use this situation as an opportunity to assess how well their employees operate when working remotely and to consider whether to implement remote-working arrangements as a beneficial alternative to traditional office-working arrangements after the pandemic ends. Similarly, many employees can use this situation as an opportunity to experience remote working and its potential benefits and drawbacks. Very likely, some employees will not want to return to the office once the authorities lift shelter-in-place orders.