July 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 48

P O S T- P A N D E M I C

6

Permanent office
spaces will shrink
as work from home
and remote working
become an expectation,
not a perk.

A number of P&R roles will require a presence in the office, but
COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated that it is not required of every role and not every single day.
Considering the growing commute times in large urban systems,
the desire for better work-life balance and flexibility by the millennial and Gen-Z workforce, and
technology that connects us at all
times, remote working is very appealing. According to a Glassdoor
study
(tinyurl.com/y6ugc4p3),
89 percent of millennials would
choose better benefits over a pay
raise, while the 2019 State of Remote Work report (tinyurl.com/
yyscr9z6) states that U.S. companies that support remote work
have 25 percent lower turnover.
What's more, 71 percent of U.S.
respondents agree that the ability to work remotely would make
them more likely to choose one
employer over another.
As agencies compete to hire and
retain the best talents, flexible and remote work policies will be a competitive advantage. These policies can also
help lower costs by reducing physical
footprints for offices, parking, etc.
Also, agencies could be more inclusive in hiring non-traditional and differently abled staff who may be able
to do great work, given that it doesn't
matter " where " they do it from.

7

Customer experiences
will be more faceless
and/or touchless.

This is where the pandemic has accelerated an existing trend. A two46

Parks & Recreation

| J U LY 2 0 2 0 | P A R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N . O R G

year study from McKinsey Global
Institute
(tinyurl.com/y62qktu8)
suggests that by 2030, intelligent
agents and robots could eliminate as
much as 30 percent of the world's
human labor, displacing the jobs of
as many as 800 million people while
creating new ones. The fear of contact that many immunocompromised individuals have will accelerate the touchless experience, while
job losses from artificial intelligence
and automation will make experiences more faceless.
From online registration to digital payments, this already occurs in
parks and recreation nationwide.
The front desk experience at recreation centers could omit desks and
feature only self-serve kiosks with
guest service attendants or a plexiglass barrier and touchless/cashless
payments similar to many grocery
stores today. More mobile-friendly
and ADA-accessible websites will
ensure customers can find all information on their personal device
and minimize the need for face-toface engagement to the actual participation in a program or activity.

8

Offer less handshakes
and more fist bumps
or namastes.

This may, hopefully, be a shortlived scenario but could lead to
some awkward interactions.
Agencies will need to be sensitive
to individual comfort levels around
preferred greetings - whether it
is for an in-person interview or
meeting or for greeting community
members in the park or at an event.
Just like professional athletes have
their signature handshakes with
their teammates, agencies could create their own signature greeting that
could become a shared language
among their staff.

9

Being busy is less
important than being
present.

For too long, we have been in a culture that glorifies busy. Agencies
have built an effort-based culture
where being busy is often equated
with being productive.
The pandemic has made us take
a collective pause, slow down and
be mindful. More people will realize that the treadmill of life that
individuals and organizations are
on is not sustainable. Agencies
may better define their core offerings, stop trying to be all things to
all people and learn to say, " No. "
It would be a tragedy if we didn't
continue to get outside and smell
the roses (or walk the trail), especially since that is something that we, in
parks and recreation, tell everyone
else to do. Be. More. Present.

10

Esports will
continue to grow
exponentially with
virtual versions of
major sports.

This is yet another case of someone's crisis becoming someone
else's opportunity. As sports events
and leagues started getting canceled, playing and watching esports began to accelerate.
Verizon reported that U.S. peakhour usage was up 75 percent in the
first week of quarantine and Twitch,
one of the world's biggest streaming
platforms for gamers, estimated it had
grown its audience by up to one-third
in March alone.
From NBA 2K20 to Virtual Madrid
Open Tennis, every major sport dove
deeper into esports. NASCAR has
been one of the most successful with
its eNASCAR Series, attracting a peak
of 1.3 million viewers for one race.



July 2020 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2020 - Parks & Recreation

July 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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