5 ways workplace and work culture will change in a post-COVID world
The way we work may never be the same again. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed every aspect of our professional life — from our daily commute to the office, our work environment, to how we interact with our colleagues and peers.
Of course, businesses are not running as usual. While a large proportion of employers are struggling to adjust to remote working, maintaining employee morale has been a challenge. The pandemic presents a chance to reshape and reinvent the workplace for a post-COVID-19 reality.
For the last couple of months, most of us have worked from home, done countless video calls, juggled work and family duties, and have tried to maintain calm in the face of uncertainty. How will jobs change in the future? While some changes may be temporary until a vaccine is developed, other changes may become permanent.
Here are three ways that your job may change in a post-COVID scenario:
1. Welcoming virtual meetings through collaborative platforms
In the last two months, with employees working remotely, we have realised the power of virtual collaborative platforms and how they can replace in-person meetings. Gradually, people have also understood that daily to-do’s can be discussed and addressed online, rather than one having to be physically present. With the lockdown in place, companies are not in any hurry to ask their staff to get back to the office as the Work From Home model seems to be delivering positive results.
The workforce is adapting to this new work model with technology at the core of making all of this possible. There are communication platforms that offer an all-in-one suite with access to email, calendar, to-do's, voice notes, video conferencing, and more. Video conferencing has emerged as a powerful tool to drive team collaboration at several leading brands worldwide.
2. Working from home forever
Twitter was the first company to move to telework in March as a result of the health crisis, and it recently announced that it will continue that policy indefinitely as part of a move towards a "distributed workforce.” The past few months have proven that a lot of the businesses, which were earlier unsure about remote working, realised that working from home is do-able.
So if employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, organisations will make it happen. Also, if organisations decide to get back to the office, it won’t be how it was before.
3. Result-based tracking?
Working from home is going to stay, even when the economy eventually reopens. Productivity is often measured by seeing an employee stuck at their desk or over ringing phones, and achievement is signified by an employee arriving early before the rest of their colleagues, and leaving late.
So what happens when bosses don’t have access to these visual checks? They’re at a loss on how to measure productivity. Managers should instead focus on the final results, such as deliverables and reports. This will let employees prove their productivity, with or without local supervision.
The “new normal” isn’t necessarily a business world without working in an office; it’s just a world where we focus on work rather than office space. As offices and teams adopt new ways of working via virtual workplaces, asynchronous communication, and results-based tracking, we’ll be able to focus much less on where we’re working, and instead on the immense contributions that we’re making to our companies and industries.
4. Equal contribution at work/home
Businesses are now being forced to operate remotely and long-term flexibility may be here to stay, which allows people to balance both work-life and household tasks simultaneously. This new workplace structure generates more equity at home as people can spend quality time with their families and contribute to household duties equally. This development will also enable us to create a more gender-balanced work culture.
5. 9-to-5: A thing of the past?
We are staying at home more than ever, and this demands us to balance our work and home lives in the same place, and at once. Recently, many employers have relaxed rules about workers starting and ending their days at a set time. The new norm is about having respect for and trust in your employees.
To maintain that structure, managers could set expectations for when they need their teams in the office for important internal events and conferences, or online for meetings and other team activities.
Additionally, if one wants to create a balance between work and personal/family time, employees and managers will have to work closely together (than ever before) to ensure that no one is feeling pressured to respond to emails and messages at all hours of the day.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)