Everything changed in early 2020 when the true scope of the COVID-19 pandemic entered public awareness. We all hoped it would turn out to be nothing serious, but we were quickly disabused of that notion. Normal life came to a screeching halt almost overnight. Work moved from conventional offices to kitchen tables. Social events were cancelled. It was a huge mess.

Now that we’re finally at the end of this blighted year, we have the opportunity to make a fresh start in 2021, yet we don’t have the luxury of forgetting about COVID-19 just yet. In fact, it’s not going anywhere in the near future. Even if the vaccines now being distributed around the globe prove as effective as hoped, precautionary measures will be necessary for a long time.

That means that we’ll still be relying just as heavily on technology to keep us going. In particular, we’ll be leaning on it to keep us together. Let’s explore this in detail.

Many tasks will still need to be done online

Even before this terrible year, tasks that used to be handled in person were moving online, and people were getting used to the superior convenience. You can get your bank statement, order a passport, order takeout — you can even buy lottery tickets online in defiance of the traditional convenience-store experience. Due to COVID-19, this process accelerated significantly.

Since 2021 isn’t going to end the pandemic, these tasks will still need to be handled online. Without technology, it will be all but impossible for someone to live a normal modern life.

If you have an accountant, furthermore, you’ll be unlikely to see them in person. They’ll want to handle all their business through video conferencing and other tech-based messaging. So it isn’t just about being able to access vital services: it’s also about keeping in touch with key people.

Teams will continue to be scattered

As the world has become more accustomed to dealing with COVID-19, businesses have started to bring office life back into the mix — but it’s slow progress. It makes no sense at this point to return to full-time office work, so companies are opting for shared working spaces (shared in the sense that people alternate — it can be done safely).

This means that many companies will see their employees mix-and-match their working arrangements: working in their office spaces sometimes and from home the rest of the time. Without communication software to keep entire teams connected, this would lead to confusing fragmentation and inefficiency (causing a lot of operational damage).

Wanderlust is only going to get worse

Perhaps most importantly, morale continues to decline at a notable pace as lockdown measures persist. Humans are communal creatures and need companionship. They also need to leave their surroundings and experience new things in new places. Accordingly, being stuck indoors for most of a year has led to extensive wanderlust.

How does this relate to tech? Well, being so eager to go elsewhere but not being able to is making people miserable, and sharing that frustration is one of the few things that can make them feel better. Through tools like Zoom and Skype, they can talk to their friends and family members. It isn’t the same as meeting in person, of course, but it’s better than nothing.