Insights

Tracking Behaviors Post Covid-19 via Habits

I came across an article from Bloomberg about how they realized that life in London was slowly going back to normal post the covid-19 pandemic via the number of people buying coffee and ready-made sandwiches.

I like the concept of using human purchase behavior of food coffee to track our habits from an anonymized mass perspective. We are creatures of habit, and once we build a habit, we get in a flow and continue to do so, especially if it is effortless, like getting a bite to eat or having a cup of coffee (not exercising).

Well, in London, the activity of the chain of stores called Pret a Manger has risen to almost half of pre-covid days and is still on the rise, most notably in business areas and places around airports that turned into ghost towns when the pandemic hit.

An equivalent for me here in Dubai is that business travel meetings are picking up. I was in a restaurant and saw people at another table loosening ties and taking off their blazers, having a business dinner after a long day of work. I hadn’t seen that in a while.

I, too, recently had a business dinner, something that hasn’t happened since COVID. I’m also doing more in-person meetings than before. Not much yet, but more than before. With the online calls, I feel there is less chit-chat as we get straight to the point. In-person, social is back into play, and one-hour in-person meetings are the equivalent of the 30-minute call.
So life is picking up again, but as I said, in-person meetings consume more time with social conventions and commute times, so I feel like we could all work on trying to shorten them.

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