As the UK starts to recover from the first COVID-19 wave, hoping to be the last, the pandemic has brought deep economic and lifestyle changes to many citizens, with reverberations that might last for years to come. The way people work, commute, shop, and socialize has drastically changed in such a short time span, and many adaptations were required in an effort to curb the number of infections in the country. According to the ONS, 46.6% of British workers worked from home from April 2020 onwards, and 86% of them did so as a result of the pandemic. Furthermore, only one in ten people in the UK stated to still be planning a holiday abroad this year, and instead relying on ‘staycations’.

The battle is far from over and the fear of a second wave still remains. However, many governments are keen to avoid a second lockdown, as they cannot afford its economic cost. Technology applied in the public and private sector will be key for adapting spaces to make them safer and allow people to return to them. A digitally-enabled transformation of our public surroundings may be the only viable path to some kind of normality, and to an economic recovery.

Post expires at 9:24pm on Thursday February 4th, 2021