«COVID-19 is altering consumer behavior in a more permanent way than expected» .

That is the conclusion reached by a study carried out by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV), which observes changes in Spain at the level of work, leisure, housing, transport and medicine.

«These new behaviors have immediate consequences on different sectors of activity such as retail, the health sector, transport» and the expectations of combined physical and digital experiences, «says Jesús Mantas, global managing partner of IBM Services.

«Six months ago, digitization was a competitive tool» , he adds, «and now it is a survival tool for many of these sectors» .

Now that many workers are on vacation and others continue to do their homework, to keep their distance and avoid contagions, going back to the office is something that worries many of the Spanish.

Almost all IBM respondents believe that their companies should take steps to protect them from the virus. About 6 out of 10 demand clear communication protocols about what is being changed to keep them safe from the virus.

In their opinion, social distancing measures should be imposed (60% point this out) and facilities to take care of their children should be offered (50%).

At the moment teleworking is not given up. 70% of Spaniards would like to have the opportunity to continue working remotely , even if occasionally. Half want this to become commonplace.

While 19% would sign for just telecommuting, 17% are waiting to return to their regular position full time.

IBM reveals that three fifths of Spaniards are now more concerned about the safety of their jobs. 61% believe that the economy will experience a recession for years.

When moving around the city, 1 in 10 users say they will no longer use public transport and 36% have thought of using it less. Over 40% will stop using both carpooling services . 30% have set out to use their own car more and for a fifth it will become their only form of transportation. As for taxis, 1 in 10 Spaniards says that they will not use them anymore .

And what about housing? At the moment, the feelings of the Spanish seem divided between migrating to urban areas or leaving them, due to the pandemic.

Most citizens show concern about outbreaks (60%) and the possibility of a new wave arriving during the latter part of the year (70%).

Regarding leisure, consumers will continue to frequent bars (60%), department stores (53%), parks (49% ) and hairdressers (59%) over the next few weeks. However, they will postpone their visits to beaches (52%), gyms (66%), museums (73%), cinemas (72%), theaters (76%), theme parks (75%) and events sports (74%).

Braking on the move is also noticeable at doctor visits. Before the health crisis, only 1 in 4 Spaniards used telemedicine. Now 40% have contacted their doctor remotely and 51% prefer to continue communicating like this.