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Justin Fox

Covid-19 Won’t Change Everything for Workers. Right?

Forecasting the pandemic’s effects on the workforce isn’t easy. But a few trends are already clear.

New normal.

New normal.

Photographer: Franck Fife/AFP

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Bloomberg Opinion will be running a series of features by our columnists that consider the long-term consequences of the crisis. This column is part of a package envisioning the future of work. For more, see Sarah Green Carmichael on the resilience of open offices, Elisa Martinuzzi on fixing the pandemic's gender bias and Stephen Mihm on worker protests.

Over the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic has altered almost every aspect of how people around the world live their lives and do their jobs. In the months to come, it will continue to disrupt and transform routines. Sooner or later, though, the emergency will end. Lots of things will go back to the way they were before January 2020. Some won’t.

So much has already been written and said about the latter group of possibilities that I hesitate to add to the cacophony. But it may lend some structure to the discussion to sort the changes to come into three broad categories.