If it feels like the sky is falling, purse those lips and get ready to kiss the stars. Because whether it is, or it isn’t, your response will create your reality.
Here we reveal more stats from the awesome McCrindle/Cint research study addressing How Australians are responding to COVID-19 and our interpretation for changemakers.
If you want to understand business confidence, look to consumers. Their feelings, confidence and buying behaviours are excellent indicators of how quickly companies will bounce back.
In March, 45% of Australians were feeling anxious in response to the unfolding pandemic, but in June, interestingly, the amount of those feeling anxious fell to 38%. As we look to establish new societal norms, a sense of hope has increasingly returned (from 27% in March to 35% in June).
The biggest impact has been social - far above the financial, mental, or physical impact. 42% believe COVID-19 has negatively impacted them socially, while 28% have been negatively impacted financially.
Australians have experienced a different way of life and many are hoping that these changes will be retained. 52% spent more time with their family and want this to continue. 49% of Australians are enjoying a slower pace of life, or prioritising financial savings (49%) and want this to continue.
This experience will significantly shape Australian children of today – 84% of Australians believe so. Screens and technology will become more integrated into their lives (90%), education will be delivered online in future (82%) and as they enter the workforce, they’ll expect more flexible work conditions (86%).
The top challenge with working from home has been social isolation (44%), followed by blurring of work and home boundaries (33%) and missed opportunities for collaboration (30%).
Australians are optimistic but believe it will take somewhere between a few months and the end of the year for things to recover - so for changemakers pitching to corporates in February - optimism should be higher by then.
Older Australians are more likely to feel hopeful than younger Australians – only 30% of Gen Z felt hopeful, 25% of Gen Y, 28% of Gen X, 48% boomers and 56% of 75+. This is some good news for non-profits who overall rely on mature Australians to donate. Although many Australians have been impacted financially, giving has stayed the same for a large proportion (37%) and for some (21%) it’s actually increased, with this pattern expected to continue towards the end of the year. Changemakers, you’re not forgotten. And if consumers have your backs, corporates will follow suit.
Personally, I’m hearing a renewed sense of optimism, even from my community here in Stage 4 lockdown in Victoria. Perhaps it’s the blossom on the trees, the sweet smell of Spring, or just the rare opportunity to have time to stop, reflect, and realign with what’s truly important in life. Nature, family, friendship, tolerance, looking after one another, connectedness, and kindness.
If these values are preserved, it will surely impact the way consumers purchase – steering them towards products and services that not just make them feel good, but are good for the community and planet. Yes, I’m talking about products that do good, that give back, that support charity. Consumers and corporates will show they value those who ‘Do more and Be more’, and that is you.
 How Australians are responding to COVID-19, McCrindle & CINT, June 2020 (representative sample of the Australian public, sample 1,000)