Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates predicted that in the postpandemic world half of business trips will be made and a third of office hours will disappear, while acknowledging that he never would have thought that wearing a mask would become the subject of so much controversy.
“My prediction is that more than 50% of business trips and more than 30% of days in the office will disappear “, indicated the tycoon in a conference organized this Tuesday 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 the viability of working from home during confinement, although he acknowledged that there will be companies more willing to implement teleworking than others.
“We will continue to go to the office in some way, 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 half of airline revenue Americans and were by far the most profitable commutes.
A new labor paradigm could add more problems for a sector that tries to overcome the sharp drop in income with the air traffic reduction due to the pandemic, which could begin to be resolved with the mass distribution of the vaccine from the second half of 2021.
The anti-mask feeling
Gates also acknowledged his limitations when it comes to predicting behavior and confessed: “I would not have thought that wearing a mask would become so controversial”, nor that the Donald Trump administration supported a so “wild and extreme” opinion when facing the pandemic.
The mogul also said that anti-mask sentiment is stronger in the United States than in other countries and acknowledged that it is not clear whether this is due to the position taken by the Trump administration or to the individualistic sentiment of Americans.
The pandemic is out of control in most of the United States and has already left more than 11 million infected and almost a quarter of a million dead, with many hospitals on the brink of collapse.