A New Study says most Australians feel nicer, smarter, more open to new experiences, more conscientious, and less connected to family, friends, and romantic partners due to their experiences of the 2020 pandemic. Read on to see how this affects your business…
The global pandemic has changed our personalities according to a new study by Oracle. The representative survey of 3,200 consumers in the UK, America and Australia found that the circumstances created by COVID-19 have made many people acknowledge important changes in their personality traits.
Post-COVID a majority of Australian respondents say they have seen a nicer, more open personality emerge and despite the stresses of 2020 one-third reported increased agreeableness due to the global pandemic.
The study also reported that increased online activity and new hobbies have many of us feeling smarter: More time at home has led to reading, streaming, and new hobbies:
- 70 percent of Australians say they have read more and learned more during the pandemic and feel smarter. This was equal with their US counterparts and more than their UK counterparts (63 percent).
- A majority (61 percent) say the media source they spend the most time on is either social media or streaming media.
- Gen Z respondents are especially likely to say they spend the most time on short form video such as TikTok: 31 percent compared to 4 percent overall in Australia.
- 54 percent also started at least one “trendy” hobby during the pandemic with the three most common hobbies being at-home workouts (37 percent), baking sourdough bread or banana bread (17 percent), and filming TikTok videos (13 percent).
- And while some binge shopped and accrued more belongings (23 percent), others decluttered (22 percent) and decreased the number of personal belongings during the pandemic.
Romance and relationships have also been redefined!
The stats also show that social distancing measures have taken a significant toll on romantic relationships, as well as relationships with friends and family.
- Among the 35 percent of Australian respondents who identified as single, 38 percent said they felt lonelier with 58 percent having spent lockdowns alone.
- 14 percent of Australians changed their relationship status during the pandemic (compared to 27 percent of Americans).
- 36 percent of Australians report their relationships with friends have become less connected, compared to 13 percent who became closer with friends. In addition, 61 percent of Australians reported making no new friends over the past year.
- More than 70 percent of Australians say their relationships with family changed, with 22 percent feeling less connected from their family. However, 34 percent believe the pandemic brought their family closer together.
Australians are excited to get out again:
People quickly embraced technology without missing the old work rituals of commuting or being professionally dressed, but we do yearn for post-pandemic experiences.
- Tracksuits and pajamas (32 percent) have become the most popular attire among the 46 percent who use video conferencing for work, while 12 percent of Australians say they’ve been partially naked on a work Zoom call.
- People missed hugging the most (64 percent) while commuting to work was most commonly not missed (41 percent).
- Business travel (85 percent) and getting dressed or groomed professionally for work (76 percent) were also not missed.
- The most popular services or habits Australians formed during the pandemic, and will likely use again include: contactless / cashless payments (62 percent), Delivery (49 percent), Increased spending on groceries instead of restaurants (39 percent), Virtual doctor appointments (35 percent).
- 95 percent of Australians are planning to enjoy at least one previously restricted activity when it is safe. This is good news for airlines and hotels as borders begin to reopen interstate travel was the most commonly-selected top choice (26 percent).
- More than half of people enrolled in loyalty programs (48 percent) are concerned that accrued rewards points will expire.
Nate Skinner, senior vice president of Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) commented on the research: “We experienced several paradoxes over the last 13 plus months. We were lonely, yet more connected online. We were bored yet took on many new hobbies. We were isolated from in-person learning, yet still feel smarter.
“Our lives were impacted in ways we couldn’t control, and our rapidly changing consumer habits make it hard for brands to keep up. The experiences of the last year will continue to have massive implications on our consumption and buying behaviour as we move forward in a post-pandemic era.”
Learn more about how these consumer shifts will impact how we consume goods and services personally and at work here.