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New Study: 86% of Americans Report a Change in Personality Due to the Pandemic

New Study: 86% of Americans Report a Change in Personality Due to the Pandemic, Oracle

The global pandemic has changed our personalities according to a new study by Oracle. The representative survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers found that the circumstances created by COVID-19 have made many people feel smarter and more open to new experiences, but also more conscientious and disconnected from their personal relationships.

Nicer, More Open Personalities Emerge

The global pandemic has changed people's personalities, with Americans reporting increased conscientiousness, openness to new experiences, and agreeableness.

A majority of respondents (86 percent) say they saw a change in at least one of the five major "OCEAN" personality traits due to COVID-19. Becoming more conscientious (40 percent) and open to new experiences (38 percent) were the most common personality changes. Despite the stresses of the moment, one-third (33 percent) of people reported increased agreeableness due to the global pandemic.

Increased Online Activity and New Hobbies Have Us Feeling Smarter More time at home has led to reading, streaming, and new hobbies, making Americans feel smarter.

  • 70 percent of Americans say they have read more and learned more during the pandemic and feel smarter. By comparison, only 30 percent say the chaos of the pandemic distracted them from continuing to learn new things.
  • A majority (58 percent) say the media source they spend the most time on is either social media or streaming media. Comparatively, only 20 percent report spending the most time watching traditional television.
  • 70 percent also started at least one "trendy" hobby during the pandemic with the three most common hobbies being at-home workouts (46 percent), baking sourdough bread or banana bread (27 percent), making whipped coffee (23 percent), and filming TikTok videos (21 percent).
  • And while some binge shopped and accrued more belongings (32 percent), 30 percent of individuals decreased the amount of personal belongings during the pandemic.

Romance and Relationships Redefined Social distancing and shelter-in-place measures have taken a significant toll on romantic relationships, as well as relationships with friends and family.

  • Among the 30 percent of respondents who identified as single, 72 percent say the pandemic altered their romantic outlook in at least one major way, with 61 percent having spent lockdowns alone.
  • More than a quarter of Americans (27 percent) changed their relationship status during the pandemic. The most common relationship change was breakup or divorce (19 percent), while only nine percent got engaged or married.
  • Among those who went through a breakup or divorce, only 21 percent were able to dissolve the relationship with an in-person conversation.
  • Midwesterners were the most likely to have an in-person conversation (35 percent), while the West Coasters were least likely (just 14 percent). Northeasterners were the most likely group to use Zoom to break up (19 percent) and Southwesterners were most likely to end a relationship with ghosting (21 percent).
  • One third of Gen Z respondents who had a beak up did so over text message (32 percent).
  • 34 percent of Americans report their relationships with friends becoming less connected, compared to 15 percent who became closer with friends. In addition, more than half of Americans (52 percent) reported making no new friends over the past year.
  • More than 70 percent of Americans say their relationships with family changed, with 22 percent feeling less connected from their family. However, 30 percent believe the pandemic brought their family closer together.

Americans Adapt to New Normal, But Are Excited to Get Out Again

People quickly embraced technology without missing the old work rituals of commuting or being professionally dressed, but we do yearn for post-pandemic experiences.

  • Sweatsuits and pajamas have become the most popular attire for Zoom calls for work (38 percent), while 14 percent of Americans say they've been partially naked on a work Zoom call.
  • Four in ten respondents (43 percent) did not miss the commute to work, business travel (31 percent), or getting dressed or groomed professionally (30 percent).
  • The most popular services or habits formed during the pandemic included:
  • Delivery (51 percent)
  • Increased spending on groceries instead of restaurants (48 percent)
  • Contactless / cashless payments (46 percent)
  • Curbside pickup (44 percent)
  • Virtual doctor appointments (40 percent)
  • 40 percent of Americans are planning to continue using these services in the future.
  • 96 percent of Americans are planning to enjoy at least one previously restricted activity when it's safe. The most anticipated activities include indoor dining (74 percent), travel out of state (72 percent), and concerts (61 percent).
  • More than half of people in loyalty programs (54 percent) are concerned that accrued rewards points will expire.

"We experienced several paradoxes over the last 13 plus months. We were lonely, yet more connected online. We were bored, yet took on many new hobbies. We were isolated from in-person learning, yet still feel smarter," said Nate Skinner, senior vice president, Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX). "Our lives were impacted in ways we couldn't control, and our rapidly changing consumer habits make it hard for brands to keep up. The experiences of the last year will continue to have massive implications on our consumption and buying behavior as we move forward in a post-pandemic era."

Learn more about how these consumer shifts will impact how we consume goods and services personally and at work here.

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Small and Mid-Sized Universities Continue to Adopt Oracle Cloud to Improve Operations

Small and Mid-Sized Universities Continue to Adopt Oracle Cloud to Improve Operations

The Higher Education Systems & Services (HESS) Consortium Collective has selected Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite as the group's single enterprise resource planning (ERP), human capital management (HCM), and student information system platform. Oracle's cloud technology will enable collective members to streamline their finance and human resources processes on a shared technology platform that can help improve efficiency and cost savings. The HESS Consortium is comprised of chief information officers, chief business officers, and other technology leaders from more than 225 private, non-profit colleges and universities. A growing group of 57 of the consortium members joined to form the HESS Collective with a goal to lower costs and increase collaboration between private institutions in the area of administrative systems and services. With the help of E&I Cooperative Services, HESS Collective chief information officers spent 18 months developing a competitive request for proposal for cloud-native enterprise solutions. Then, starting in 2019, the group undertook a 14-month-long evaluation to find a complete and scalable platform that would be financially sustainable for the group's small and mid-sized institutions. After reviewing a number of cloud-native offerings, including Workday and UNIT4, HESS Consortium's member institutions selected Oracle Fusion Applications as their single, shared provider. "Private, non-profit colleges and universities are facing serious challenges. Their current legacy systems just cannot meet their needs for operational efficiency, analytics, and cost containment," said Keith Fowlkes, Executive Director and co-founder, HESS Consortium. "The HESS Consortium Collective institutions saw that Oracle Fusion Applications Suite was the most complete, cloud-native software available, while also being extremely affordable for all sizes of institutions. We believe that our selection of the Oracle Cloud solutions, along with our model of staff collaboration and sharing, will help our HESS member institutions gain modern functionalities while lowering costs." With Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Oracle Fusion Cloud Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), and Oracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM), HESS member institutions will be able to take advantage of the cloud to break down data and organizational silos, standardize processes, and manage financial, planning, and workforce data on a single integrated cloud platform. Some member institutions will also adopt Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX) and Oracle Student Financial Planning. Oracle Fusion Applications' common and intuitive interface enables rapid user adoption, delivers enhanced employee experience, and improves productivity. Another key factor was Oracle's ability to collaborate with the HESS Consortium community in creating a support and resource network for participating institutions. Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) members Mythics and Drivestream will help to ensure smooth and cost-effective procurement, implementation, and training for member institutions. "The past year hit higher education hard. But incredibly, many colleges and universities responded with a spirit of innovation, eager to rebuild more agile, resilient, and secure institutions," said Rajan Krishnan, group vice president of product development, Oracle. "Moving business processes to the cloud enables organizations to rapidly optimize operations, reduce costs, and create new opportunities for growth. We're thrilled to work alongside the HESS Consortium and its members as they prepare their institutions for what's ahead." "This type of project – shared technology operations – has never been attempted on a national scale because of technological limitations," said Fowlkes. "With cloud-based technologies, the shared services model is attainable. Oracle and their partners offered something that was truly groundbreaking to our private colleges and universities, and we anticipate this will be a game-changer in private higher education technology."

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