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New York Summit 2020: Has the coronavirus changed the way we work for the long term?

Raghuram Rajan is a recognized Indian economist and professor at Chicago Booth. Here he provides us with his view on how the coronavirus affects global productivity and our work habits.

Through New York Summit 2020 -- this year transformed into a series of virtual sessions -- Danske Bank sheds light on the crucial future of American politics and geopolitics in the wake of the US presidential election as well as the state of global business and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch a short recap

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Key takeaways from Rajan

  • One of the big concerns in the past was that we weren’t using the productivity gains from the ICT revolution properly. We weren’t thinking about how to restructure work, how to change patterns and use the information and the technology we had. To some extent the pandemic has forced us to rethink.
  • This pandemic has told us what is possible. In the future, some of us may work four days a week at home and one day a week come into the office and do a lot of social meetings and so on.
  • Previously you wanted to meet a new client and wouldn’t just do a video conference with them because that might show disrespect. Now that we don’t any longer show disrespect, maybe it’s convenient for both sides to just do this and save on travel.
  • However, I think we will need new business practices to deal with some of the changes in how we work. For a less motivated workforce, how do you make sure they’re working hard from home without employing Big Brother-like surveillance methods? How do you get the sense of camaraderie and culture that firms need if different people come into work at different points in a day? These are some of the issues that tech companies have grappled with, now more companies will have to grapple with these issues over time.

About Rajan

  • Raghuram Rajan is the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School.
  • He was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India between 2013 and 2016, Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Bank for International Settlements (2015-16) and Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund (2003-2006).
  • His book Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy was awarded the Financial Times-Goldman Sachs prize for Best Business Book of the year in 2010. His most recent book, The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State hold the Community Behind, was a runner-up for the Financial Times-McKinsey prize for Best Business Book of the year in 2019.

 

New York Summit - what you need to know

  • A recurring annual event for Danske Bank’s corporate and institutional clients about investments, economy, politics and geopolitics.
  • Featuring some of the world’s most prominent thinkers, analysts and strategists.
  • Usually the event takes place in New York. Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, it was decided to transform this year’s event into a series of virtual sessions.

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