The coronavirus pandemic has been a marked turning point for the world of work, forcing many businesses to implement changes that may have otherwise taken years. Employers across the world have had to swiftly reinvent themselves and adjust processes, employee planning and operations in short order.
With the effects of the pandemic still ongoing, it’s difficult to gauge the full impact that this will have on the future of the working world. Lots of companies will soon start to reopen their offices, but it is unclear what many employees will be returning to.
One thing is clear however, and that’s that COVID-19 has not only sped up the future of work, it has completely reformed it. Employers and employees both now need to give careful consideration to the challenges on the horizon and how best to navigate them. So what can we expect from work life post-pandemic?
Remote working as a new “norm.”
The forced swap to the vast majority of workers now working from home has demonstrated to many companies that certain business functions and roles are actually perfectly sustainable remotely in the long-term. On top of this, the potential savings on office spaces and logistics are vast, and this is helping many organisations to rethink their business layouts entirely..
Whilst it hasn’t been an entirely positive experience for all, many workers have adapted very well to the changes brought on by lockdown; with an increasing number of people stating that they are finding themselves to actually be more productive than when in the office. Many are now keen to explore long-term remote work opportunities, employers who cannot offer this option to their employees may find the standardisation of this “perk” to be difficult to compete with.
It is looking likely that a huge number of employees across various sectors and industries will work remotely, at least part time after COVID-19. This comes with it’s challenges too of course, companies will now have to re-shape their working environments to fit with the new standards, whether they are restructuring their office to meet guidelines when staff return, arranging for part-time returns or setting up to be fully remote-based.
The increase in isolation and limiting of social interactions has also, for many, had a directly negative effect on their mental wellbeing, and employers have, for the most part, found many creative ways to offer support to their workers during this time. It’s a refreshing re-focussing to see and conscious and empathetic management looks to play a large part in the new working normality, more so than it has done before.
So whilst the future is uncertain and the shadow of COVID-19 looking likely to be hanging over us all for some time yet, it’s impossible to view this ordeal as an entirely or even mostly negative one. It has forced a restructuring of the workplace that will benefit a vast number of workers and opened up the dialogues within companies which will no doubt have positive outcomes for many more.
How has your company adapted to the pandemic and lockdowns?
We’re interested to hear from fellow businesses and professionals in relation to their coping and forward thinking strategies.