5 Trends That Were Accelerated by the Pandemic

5 Trends That Were Accelerated

The Covid-19 pandemic changed the way we lived our lives. In the UK, amongst much of the western world, restrictions are easing – but it’s unlikely we will return to the same society as before the pandemic began. 

Some aspects of our lives will change forever, as will some industries. Here are 5 trends that have been accelerated by the pandemic.


Gambling is a part of many people’s lives, be it sports betting, poker, or playing the lottery. Even prior to the pandemic, online gambling websites were growing rapidly, with it being increasingly easy and convenient to play online slots for real money. However, lockdowns meant that physical casinos closed, and even high street bookmakers closed for some time too.

Any gambler who wanted to bet on sports would have been forced to download an app for it. Likewise, many people will have tried online slot games that they’ve never experienced before. As a result, the user base for online casinos skyrocketed. 

Physical casinos have opened back up in the UK and US, but tourism remains slightly restricted. So, with many users permanently switching to online in conjunction with reduced tourism, physical casinos will struggle to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels of demand.

Remote work

Again, this trend already existed prior to the pandemic, but it certainly accelerated it into becoming more common than ever before. Working online was more out of the ordinary a few years ago. It was possible, but you had to seek it out yourself, with many companies being reluctant to accept such terms. 

However, millions of businesses around the world were suddenly forced into developing the online infrastructure and workflow for working and communicating online. Since getting used to this, it’s left a permanent effect on companies’ ability and acceptance of hiring remote workers.

Furthermore, because of the ability to hire online, freelance work is also becoming more popular. The pandemic didn’t just get us working from home, but it was also conducive to the gig economy.

Online shopping

Much like gambling, many people were forced to figure out how to order goods online because their favorite store was forcibly closed down. It’s not just learning how to do it, but building up the habit of online shopping and relying on its inevitable convenience. E-commerce performed very, very well during the pandemic, despite there essentially being an economic crash. It may not make much economic sense initially, but the fact of the matter remains, our propensity to shop online has dramatically increased at the cost of high street shops.

Anti-Globalism and authoritarianism

Without getting too political, we have to account for how the pandemic changed the way we run the country – and how we perceive this. If we were to oversimplify, we could compare Asia to the West in how the governments reacted to Covid-19. In general, it’s still very hard to travel to Asia because restrictions were much more strict and still are.

However, what was perhaps unexpected is that many European countries also adopted authoritarian measures and continue having strict restrictions to this day, whilst the UK is essentially back to “normal”. This indicates a tolerance for government intervention that many people didn’t foresee in the west, although there are undoubted protests too.

We could view the pandemic’s impact in two different ways when it comes to its effects on globalization. On the one hand, global cooperation was paramount to inventing and distributing the vaccine, among other coordinated efforts to prevent its spread and communicate different findings. However, closing down borders (which, to this day with almost zero cases, China remains essentially a closed country) has reduced globalization. We may see this continue, or we could see a redefining of how important global coordination is – particularly in the face of an imminent climate crisis.

Investing and markets

One strange phenomenon that the pandemic shone a light on was how irrational our stock markets behave. Immediately after the March 2020 stock crash, there was a rapid V-shaped recovery which was fairly unprecedented – not least because businesses were mostly closed with their revenues suspended.

The reason behind this is in part due to the influx of retail investors. Middle-income folk who had their hobbies taken away from them essentially went online to spend their time and money. Investing, like gambling, was a big hit. Robinhood, amongst other investing apps aimed at beginners, flourished along with crypto and high-risk stocks.

This showed us a high level of consumer confidence in the face of a pandemic, but it also showed the impact that retail investors can have on markets. To this day, there are elements of a meme economy, where novel stocks and assets boom in price, along with seriously overvalued tech stocks. This usually leads us to believe that there is a crash looming, but if the March crash was anything to go by, the confidence in retail investors’ buy-and-hold strategies may deviate from our expectations.