They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. And with most of us entering day 186 and living through various types of community quarantines, which incidentally is the longest of its kind in the world, certain habits, routines, and aspects in people’s daily lives, have started to emerge.
Major changes in our way of living and thinking have developed, and being able to revert back to the way it was prior the pandemic, would most likely be a futile exercise. This seems especially true for those who are so used to a fast-paced lifestyle, the ‘hustle-and-bustle-filled’ city-life, but are now embracing the actual benefits of a work from home life.
This shift in mentality, coupled with newfound familiarity, has changed consumer demands and behaviors, significantly re-shaping the concept of “city living”・of what it was then, and what it has become in the new normal.
A digital shift in traditional consumer habits
Before the pandemic, majority of Filipinos preferred shopping via brick-and-mortar stores—evident in the overwhelming number of malls and shopping stores in every city in the country with a sea of people consistently flooding these establishments.
But because of the pandemic which led to mall shutdowns and limited entrance capacity—so as to lessen the health risk of staying in an enclosed space with strangers, for extended periods of time—Filipinos have learned to welcome the convenience, ease, and safety of online shopping.
It seems that online shopping is here to stay for the long haul, which, from the looks of it, has a good chance of even crossing over to the next normal, in the post pandemic world, what with all the constant promos and offers, convenient modes of payment, and even installment plans exclusively offered by e-commerce retailers.
The rise of flexible work arrangements
While plenty of businesses and corporations already had plans to incorporate telecommuting in their work set-ups, the pandemic practically forced the business sector’s hand in initiating and committing to the ultimate work-from-home trial run. And while rocky at first, this extended experiment has actually presented more pros than cons.
Having seen the initial good results of this long drawn-out and unplanned experiment of working from home indefinitely, companies now have the viable option of possibly implementing a more balanced work arrangement in the next normal, one that will pave the way for a less stressfully-hectic life with a more flexible, healthy, and less commanding city-lifestyle.
A demand for safe and quality mobility
As some companies have already started rolling out a somewhat mixed arrangement prompted by the easing of nationwide quarantine restrictions, mobility has started to become a necessity, once more. The only obvious difference, this time around, is that more and more people now are opting to use their personal vehicles for safety reasons or deciding to purchase a vehicle altogether, given the significant price drop being offered by many car companies nowadays. And while commuting is still available, it is understandably not an option for many, at least till a safe and effective vaccine is finally made available.
Given this current stark reality, the next normal would most likely promote the owning of a vehicle as a necessary tool, especially by those who are required to work majority of their days in the field, going from one destination to another.
While this foreseeable setup may pose as a problem, primarily because of its cost implications, people will still see it as a good investment move, given the situation. And as they say, “health is wealth,”・now is as good a time as any to be investing in a car given the generous price drop being offered by car companies nowadays.
Let’s take for example a brand-new Honda City. It is now being sold with discounts of up to P120,000 and comes with a free Air Purifier which will provide clean air within the cabin—ensuring a safe drive during the new normal. That in itself, is already a very good deal, not to mention, it is a Honda, and its high-quality craftsmanship is unquestionable. Owning a car like a Honda City, with its overall reliability, low cost of ownership, and premium standing, makes a lot of practical sense.
So, what can we expect in the next normal? Well, your guess is as good as ours, but one thing is certain though, whether we like it or not, the inevitable change is already here and we can either embrace it or reject it. At the end of the day, it all boils down to the choices each one of us will make to ensure our own survival, and make our day to day struggles, at the very least, more livable.