covid-19We’re days away from the end of the financial year and the vibrant buzz that’s normally felt in the business community definately feels muted. As I finish off some emails on a wintery day, it’s a thought that always crosses my mind - what would it have been like if the pandemic struck in 2011?

Antennae gate with the iPhone 4 was in the news, cloud storage didn’t sound as appealing, the group buying phenomenom was reaching Australia and New Zealand and a new word had officially been recognised: blockchain.

So if we eventually got the email from HR in 2011 that we had to go home to work remotely, i think it would’ve been more exhasuting 10 years ago than it would’ve been now.

Organisations would’ve supplied us with terrible technology to get our jobs done.

Using technology in the consumer space was just starting to take off and we were still leaning on corporations to guide our usage. Clunky applications that didn’t integrate well would’ve littered the desktop screen and have been mandatory to use.

Applications like your internal intranet would’ve been horrific user experiences not due to design but because semantic search didn’t quite exist back then. Using boolean language and then trawling through data to find what you wanted would’ve consumed more time and that’s not even factoring in version control which everyone seemed to have a different approach.

We wouldn’t be able to escape our work life.

Broadband internet was widely accessible so being connected in the home wasn’t an issue. However laptops weren’t mainstream for many in the workforce and only 25% of people were actively using smartphones. The inability to have portability would’ve caused havoc on daily life. I could imagine a lifeless black screen coupled with the monitor would’ve acted like an all seeing eye reminding you to do more work.

The uncertainty of sports

The most positive distraction during the lockdown has always been sports. With everyone home glued to a screen, the story lines and emotional drama that come with sports have been more than welcomed. Given what we saw happen to the Olympics last year, it would’ve been the biggest ‘what if’ moment because the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand most deinfately would’ve been cancelled.