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COVID-19 arrived. What’s the new norm?

This was a slide a presented with regards to the new norm many months back. Naturally, many people disagree with my view and said that the new norm means that people will not be working from home most of the time. In fact online shopping will be ‘killing’ the malls and that’s why malls are all dying.

One more assertion is that the demand for offices will be dropping. My earlier article on some reasons why office cannot be abandoned just like that Then, these people will give those news about some companies closing, one bank closing and then forgetting that MOST of the new online startups are hiring ever more people. It’s only whether we could adjust and pivot ourselves towards these new jobs which will matter the most in the very near future. Anyway, do refer to the 3 slides right after to show what it means by a picture tells a thousand words.

Picture #1: Scene at 1 Utama, just outside a ramen shop I like called Ippudo. Do try their tonkotsu soup yeah. (Non-Halal) By the way, it was full house yeah. Masks are all worn and there’s definitely social distancing and by the way, this is the current norm if the mall is a popular one.

Picture #2: This is the news about probably the biggest online company in the world. (AND PROFITABLE too, not just with high valuations but losing billions every year) Google is asking the staffs to come back earlier than planned and putting limits on future of remote work. Source:

Picture #3: Google was not alone. These three giants have started doing the same, even if they may not be asking 100 percent of everyone to go back to the office just yet. Three other big names are doing the same too. Facebook, Uber and Microsoft. All are not under the ‘traditional’ company category.

Happy understanding that new norm, as I have explained will be to go back to the norm. Productivity gains from working anywhere but in the office is not easy to quantify after a while. In fact even the yearly assessment is likely to be way harder. By the way, when I could not see you face to face, I may also forget you and many companies may realise actually I do not need that many people…

Interactions between people, teams and even customers, those could not only happen online. We are humans after all. A smile a cup of coffee in the morning in the same cafe beats showing off the coffee from some screens and each drinking their own coffee. I have not even started about travelling again versus ‘virtual travel’ where one see a video of that place and try to imagine one is travelling. Yeah… sure… if that’s what you really want when it comes to travelling. Happy understanding.

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Next suggested article: New norm is to shop online. Do I look like one?

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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