Trends — Culture • Lifestyle • Future

Getting to Know the New Normal Generation

Meet Adaptable Alice. Most, if not all, of us have been compelled to rethink and reset our lifestyle in the dawn of the COVID-19-induced new normal – Alice is no exception. However, instead of feeling helplessly disoriented or succumbing to the pressures of inevitable change, Alice promptly adapted to the unprecedented circumstances and renewed her way of life.

In pre-pandemic times, Alice used to take yearly vacations abroad to satisfy her wanderlust and to experience the sights and sounds of foreign lands. She was also a frequent business traveller, owing to the itinerant nature of her job as a senior executive in a multinational firm, which required her to liaise with overseas associates and clients on a regular basis. Now, the once-jetsetter is content with working from home, investing in an ergonomic desk and chair set for her new workspace in a corner of her studio unit. Her company’s flexible work arrangements have allowed her to divide her workweek between the office and the home, and she is relieved to observe her employer’s efforts in implementing modifications that minimise the possibility of workplace contagion.

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Furthermore, Alice is presently spared from the hassle of outstation work trips. Whenever the need for cross-border meetings arises, all she has to do is flip open her laptop to connect with her colleagues in the virtual space, thanks to the accessibility of videoconferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. Despite the initial technical hiccups, she has gradually grown accustomed to these digital means of communication and has managed to leverage digital tools to increase productivity at work.

As much as Alice is wary of the risks of COVID-19 transmission, the irrepressible travel bug within has inspired her to consider safer, alternative forms of getaways. She is contemplating spending time away from work on domestic staycations and local sightseeing excursions, in addition to planning for future overseas escapades by reserving flight tickets in advance to the top destination on her bucket list – Japan. She is also aware of the importance of avoiding non-essential travel as much as possible. To save on trips to the supermarket or retail outlets, she has turned to online shopping for her daily groceries and other essentials, with a focus on local brands.

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Alice has since settled into a new stay-home routine, effortlessly striking a balance between work commitments and leisure time while dressed comfortably in casual tops and sweatpants that evoke the emerging homely, laid-back style. On top of that, she has discovered the wonders of a back-to-basics skincare routine with minimal makeup, since cosmetics are no longer essential in a home office setting.

Lingering concerns of COVID-19 infection and health hazards have also motivated her to pay closer attention to personal hygiene and wellness. Apart from practising frequent hand-washing and diligently wearing a face mask when outdoors, she is attempting to cultivate healthier eating habits by following a balanced diet consisting of nutrient-rich and immunity-boosting foods to defend herself from potential illnesses. Moreover, she prepares her own meals using fresh, natural ingredients, with some help from online recipes and cookbooks. Every evening, she goes for an invigorating jog in the neighbourhood park to keep fit and de-stress after a long day at work.

Amid the shifting dynamics in a COVID-19 world, Alice has come to appreciate the modern conveniences at her disposal, as well as the greatest takeaway from the pandemic: pivoting with the times is key to staying resilient in the face of constant change and uncertainty.