We Must Adapt to New Habits to Survive
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken— Samuel Johnson (1709-1984)
Samuel Johnson (pictured) is best known for creating the English Dictionary which took him eight years to complete and was first published in 1755. Never a definitive list of words and meanings but a work in progress that needs updating regularly as terms become adopted and used as part of the language, as we all adapt to change.
New words for 2021 sum up the year we all endured. Newly added are:
Adulting: Talking about tasks essential to everyday life. Cooking a meal, buying insurance, paying bills.
Awe walk: getting out and taking in, the world around us and being awestruck at nature and respecting it.
Contactless: Popular now for shoppers reducing the risk of passing -on covid-19
Doomscrolling: Reading news on social media expecting it to be bad, so much so, that you become obsessed with looking at updates.
PPE: Personal Protection Equipment
Quaranteen: Not Quarantine. A trapped teenager unable to leave the house because of covid-19 restrictions.
Truthiness: Something that seems true but is not backed by any evidence.
Unconscious Bias: Unconscious prejudice. Even though you think you are not racist, unconsciously you are. Apparently!
WFH: Work from Home.
Since Johnson’s first attempt to chronicle every English word, events and happenings have changed our need to express ourselves more clearly and so we invent new words as we go along that become synonymous with our daily lives and habits.
Habits are the rituals and behaviours we all perform automatically, that allow us to carry out essential activities like brushing our teeth, taking a shower, dressing for work, following the same route to the office, without thinking about it. Our unconscious habits free up resources for our brains to carry out more complex tasks like solving problems or deciding what to cook for dinner.
Habits are stored in a part of the brain called the Basal Ganglia and once it’s in there it is difficult to “break the habit”. That is why smokers have a hard time quitting, or nail bitters never give up. But the covid-19 pandemic has had and is having a major effect on peoples’ “habits”. Wearing a mask now for the majority has become a habit. VC calls are becoming a habit, even when returning to the office everyone stays at their desk for a VC call.
WFH is becoming a habit fuelled by the covid pandemic resurgence of the omicron variant. Now million have become used to working from home. It has advantages, no commute time, greater flexibility even companies are seeing getter productivity from WFH employees. Video conference calls have become the safe way to communicate with new habits to, dress up or dress down, to change the background, or show off the bookcase, to buy extra lighting for a more flattering picture or to turn off the video camera and be just on audio.
We have all been forced over the last two years to change our habits because we have had to deal with restrictions being placed on us by our respective leaders in a bid to beat coronavirus. Some rebel and think it all a hoax. What planet are they on, I wonder? To date coronavirus deaths are now past 5 million worldwide. Anti-vaxers like no – holocaust believers, ignore the obvious in a vain attempt to position themselves as deeper more intellectual thinkers compared to those who get the jab to get on with life.
People en-mass around the globe are developing new habits and those habits are going to affect our businesses in ways that will prevent a return to what was the pre-covid norm. Returning to normal is what we all wish for, not that is perfect by any sense, but because we knew what to expect. We expected offices to be full of workers pumping out printed materials from office-based printers, copiers, and inkjets, that our industry feed. Now expect the unexpected, it is the new norm. One thing is certain, everything will remain indefinitely, uncertain.
We are by nature creatures of habit, but covid-19 has been a major force to change our behaviours, all at one time, and new habits emerge that are here to stay, we must adapt to survive.
Steve Weedon is an award-winning CEO who has held senior management positions at various OEMs as well as Katun Corp and SCC. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Print-Rite Europe Limited.
He was the original founder of The Recycler Magazine and of trade shows in Europe. He also established Static Control’s Worldwide Subsidiaries and relocated to the US to become executive vice president. Weedon headed up the global Cartridge World network after it was acquired in 2016. He can be contacted on LinkedIn.
Weedon is a popular columnist in RT ImagingWorld Magazine and speaker at RT Summits and events. You can read his other blogs:
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