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Feb. 9, 2021, 11:02 a.m. EST

9 pandemic trends that may stick around as part of our future routine

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Sheryl Kraft

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5. Working from home

With the working from home trend, companies save money on office space and employees who can do it save on commuting time and costs. Twitter  /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR -1.11% and Google /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +1.58%  support the practice, while  Netflix /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX +0.79%  isn’t a fan.  

Working from home is nothing new. Before to the pandemic, surveys showed many employees desired the setup, at least part of the time. Yet going forward, it may become more acceptable and attractive, as more employees settle into its routine and more employers  recognize its value .

The Harvard Business Review reports that the number of employees working at home will probably increase, now that “most professionals found ways to be productive outside the office.”

Yet not everyone sees it that way. Many workers feel a lack of community and creativity when working from home  writes New York Times columnist Kevin Roose .

“Studies have found that people working together in the same room tend to solve problems more quickly than remote collaborators, and that team cohesion suffers in remote work arrangements,” said Roose.

6. Retreat from supermarkets

It was a dream to live the life of the Jetsons, futuristic cartoon characters from the 1960s TV show who lived in 2062, where Jane Jetson shopped for groceries at the touch of a button. But the future is  now.  In the first months of the pandemic, a survey of shoppers showed that nearly 80% had purchased groceries online, compared with less than 40% before the pandemic.

Jim Hertel, senior vice president of analytics at the data and analytics firm Inmar Intelligence, told Supermarket News that the online grocery shopping trend “is likely to continue even as restrictions are lifted.” That’s because shoppers have grown accustomed to this routine, with convenience being the main driving force, he said.

Irene Levine, of Pleasantville, N.Y., said she’s been ordering online groceries since the start of the pandemic and will never look back. “We’re pleased with the quality of the food, the ease of ordering and the time savings,” she said.

7. Increased hotel hygiene

Hotel bookings have taken a blow during COVID-19, but the industry is trying to bounce back by adding measures to ensure their customers’ health and safety. The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., for example, has made permanent some initiatives it implemented during the pandemic, like hand-sanitizing stations throughout the resort, touchless guest transactions, advanced cleaning measures and air filtration systems.

Hilton Hotels /zigman2/quotes/202780307/composite HLT +1.54% is partnering with Lysol and the Mayo Clinic to help ensure a feeling of safety and cleanliness. The chain is also considering providing hybrid daily work environments in some of its rooms for local workers and staycation customers .

8. Hybrid work and conferences

The hybrid approach offers the ability to gather a small group in person and to involve a larger, virtual audience, said Nancy Davis, chief creative officer of the Global Wellness Summit. The result, she noted, is that those who can access an event virtually  feel  they are part of something dynamic and those in person have a wider audience with whom they can connect.

While virtual conferences may not offer the same benefits as in-person meetings,  according to Global Workplace Analytics , executives will learn that the savings outweigh the costs much of the time.

9. Comfy fashion

Casual Fridays have become casual  everydays , as companies like Banana Republic have launched work-from-home collections featuring relaxed styles with comfort and function in mind.

But how will fashion re-emerge once we’re back out into the world?

Beauty historian, author and trends expert Rachel Weingarten predicts a move toward what she calls  high concept comfort .

Also read: Michael Kors is becoming a stronger brand by growing smaller

“When there’s an industrial revolution of sorts, fashion follows. Although our current fashion world isn’t exactly fashionable, in many ways it’s become a lot of fun,” said Weingarten. “You might see sequins or embellishments on the comfy clothing; it will likely be unlike anything we’ve worn previously.”

Weingarten also sees the re-emergence, for women, of bold pieces and longer earrings, “since right now they’re difficult to wear while donning a mask,” she said.

Sheryl Kraft is a freelance journalist, essayist and writer of nonfiction based in Fairfield County, Conn. Her writing covers all areas, with a concentration in health, wellness and fitness.

This article is reprinted by permission from  , © 2021 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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