The magnate criticized that the use of chinstraps became an object of controversy and predicted the emergence of a new labor paradigm with fewer office hours.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates acknowledged that he would never have thought that wearing masks or chinstraps would become the subject of “so much controversy” and predicted a profound change in the dynamics of the world of work, ensuring that a third of office hours will disappear and that only half of the business trips that were made until before the pandemic will be made.
“My prediction is that more than 50% of business trips Y more than 30% of the days in the office will disappear“, indicated the tycoon in a conference organized today by the newspaper The New York Times.
In his opinion, the justification for making a business trip after the pandemic will be more complicated, after improving during confinement the feasibility of working from home, although he recognized that there will be companies more willing to telecommute than others.
“We will continue to go to the office somehow, we will continue some business trips, but drastically less“added Gates, who through his foundation and that of his wife Melinda, promotes the development and distribution of the vaccine to developing economies.
Business travel represented before the pandemic around the half of US airline revenue and they were by far the most profitable trips.
A new labor paradigm could add more problems for a sector that tries to overcome the sharp drop in income with the reduction of air traffic due to the pandemic, which could begin to be resolved with the mass distribution of the vaccine from the second half of 2021.
Gates also acknowledged at the conference held yesterday his limitations when it comes to predicting behavior and confessed: “I would not have thought that wearing a mask was going to become so controversial“Nor that the administration of Donald Trump supported such a” wild and extreme “opinion when facing the pandemic.
“I find it hard to believe in the fact that wearing the mask in the United States leads to skepticism or the opinion that it is just a political act,” he said.
The magnate said that anti-mask sentiment is stronger in the United States than in other countries and acknowledged that it is not clear if this is due to the position taken by the Trump administration or by the individualistic feeling of Americans.
“In America it’s worse than other countries. Is it because of our current leadership? Is it because of our individualistic view of things? I think it’s hard to attribute it. I wouldn’t have expected the use of masks to become so controversial. And no. I would have expected the (Trump) administration to find The wildest fringe opinion possible about it, “he said.
Finally, Gates pointed out that, despite the emergence of anti-vaccine movements and the dangerous tendency to minimize the effects of the pandemic, he believes in the individual responsibility of Americans.
“This is full of surprises, but we know that people want to protect themselves. They want to protect their parents and grandparents. I hope that the rise in demand for the vaccine will surprise us, “he said.
Discussing the development of the vaccine and the efforts of his foundation, the mogul expressed his dismay at the conspiracy theories circulating about his financial interest in developing them and said that “they are not true”,
“Where does that come from? Is it because we live in uncertain times? Do people prefer a simpler story? I hope those versions fade, because we are only trying to play a constructive role,” he said.
Meanwhile, the pandemic remains out of control in most of the United States, leaving more than 11 million infected and almost a quarter of a million deaths, with many hospitals on the brink of collapse.
Source: NY Times and EFE