How the Coronavirus Has Changed Our Experience in the Online World
The COVID-19 epidemic brought along many problems and affected every single person's life in Slovakia. Even though the situation will likely have radical economic consequences on the global scene, the problem can be perceived as an opportunity too. Hence, Coronavirus epidemic can teach us how to function better in digital space.
Electronic banking and cashless payments
In shops, contactless cards or mobile payments are preferred today than ever before as they minimize the cashier's contact with the customer and cash money as a possible transmitter of bacterias and viruses. Along with such an advantage, contactless payments minimize the risk of miscalculation and thus reduce the cashier's financial risk and avoid the necessity to carry and to protect the physical currency.
Slovak banking market has already started to limit the number of bank branches some time ago. Several banks have already started to facilitate the possibility to deposit money via ATMs to reduce client visits in the banks. This can be certainly considered a very good move which will possibly increase the number of ATMs. Likewise, online banking can expect an enlarged volume of transactions. Even people who have previously preferred to visit a branch have to learn how to work with internet banking. Eventually, they may conclude the online banking can be actually time-saving and money-sparing.
State government and municipality communication via online channels
Singapur is a good example of how fast online communication can help to prevent epidemic from spreading. City governance used national Whatsapp account (with more than 630 thousands of users), SMS and other online platforms to provide citizens with the most recent information about the virus and its prevention. MaskGoWhere navigates people where to get free masks or FluGoWhere informs, where the nearest hospital is located.
In Slovakia too, virus epidemic compelled state organizations and municipalities to intensify online communication. Slovak government established official web korona.gov.sk which provides information about the actual numbers of corona cases and instructions for citizens. Mayors of cities make a use of online space via web pages such as Odkaz pre starostu, Facebook or increasingly popular Instagram (Bratislava, Poprad).
Digital learning tools are nothing new. Nowadays, however, we appreciate their true value. From one day to another, many Slovak parents found themselves in a situation when they became a direct facilitator of the new form of educational system. At the end of March, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the SR responded to the situation by launching the portal spustením portálu ucimenadialku.sk. Andreas Schleicher, Director of the OECD Education Department, sees the current situation as a moment of a major change in the education system: "All the bureaucracy that has prevented change is gone and people are looking for solutions they didn't want to see in the past." According to Schleicher, students will become more responsible by understanding the process of learning and discovering, what they actually like. Coronavirus is likely to turn our education system into a more modern version, with no emphasis on memorizing and rather an independent and creative thinking.
Home office is no longer an unknown concept. In most companies, however, working from home is combined with regular commuting to the office. This has changed with the burst of the coronavirus and companies have to find solutions for effective online communication with their colleagues and employees by discovering various project management tools, such as Asana or Trello. Information on projects is clearly arranged in one place which eliminates often lengthy email communication.
How much will our lives change when the coronavirus epidemic ends? Will we accept and implement positive changes it has brought? Which actions will be needed in order to be better prepared for the outbreak of such a crisis in the future? These questions and more will be discussed at the Spring ITAPA Conference 2020. Join the participants in our virtual conference to stay informed about the latest trends.