How will COVID-19 change our world?

Virtually overnight, a large fraction of U.S. households has transitioned from a reality of long commutes to telecommuting, from in-person to online classes and business meetings, and from in-store to online shopping – even for groceries. Many of these changes were happening already, but COVID-19 has pressed the fast-forward button. After the threat of contagion is gone, to what extent will American society “go back” to our pre-COVID-19 way of life? Knowing the answer to this question is critical for making good business and policy decisions. We are conducting a national survey with the goal of gathering real data to begin to understand what the future may hold.

Recent blog posts

Who’s Able to Work from Home?

The ability to work from home is an important pandemic-related equity concern. High-income, educated, nonessential full-time workers are most likely to have this option during COVID-19. Preferring to work from home actually predicts having the option to; so do demographics such as race, ethnicity, and gender. In the future, responses indicate that preferences about remote work will play a greater role in having the ability to do so while the role of demographics will decrease.

Familiarity with Technology and the Pandemic Experience

By looking at age, internet access, and how often our respondents used technology before the pandemic, we were able to show differences in people’s attitudes towards the increase in online activities during the pandemic. From changes in productivity, to frustration with new technology, to how viable online alternatives are seen, it became clear that the pandemic affected different groups in different ways when it comes to the internet and technology.

Finding Light in the Darkness of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many people have been able to find a bright side in the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we examine who was more or less likely to find elements of the pandemic that they enjoyed, and general trends in what types of things our survey respondents appreciated about life under lockdown.

This survey is a joint project of Arizona State University and the University of Illinois Chicago with support from the National Science Foundation.