2020 Year Ender: This year will be etched in our memories because of coronavirus, and its associated impacts in our lives. The pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives including the way we live, interact, and most importantly the way we work. 2020 has proved to be a challenging period for employers and employees, who are struggling to keep themselves afloat during this period. Also Read: Bharat Biotech Set To Begin Phase 1 Clinical Trials For Intranasal Covid-19 Vaccine; Know All About It
Traditional workplaces had to undergo a tremendous shift to keep their employees motivated from the comfort of their homes. There has been a marked shift in the way companies operate and some of these changes will continue to have the lasting impact in post Covid era as well.
Here are the ways in which workplaces have evolved this year:
Remote working is the new normal
The pandemic has not just forced employees to work remotely, but several companies have altererd their functioning to declare it a permanent feature of their business models. Globally, companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Google have mandated work from home and would continue with it indefinitely. Organizations are already working on a model to work from home sustainably if employees are wishing to do so. Going back to offices just the way we did before Covid-19 looks more of a challenge now. However, remote working has both pros and cons as companies are trying to to maximise the benefits of working remotely. Employers are trying ways to ensure people remain productive and connected while not being overburdened.
Technology took precedence
According to recent Gartner poll around 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after Covid-19 against 30% before the pandemic. As organizations shift to more remote work operations, explore the critical competencies employees will need to collaborate digitally, and be prepared to adjust employee experience strategies.
Besides employee performance management also becomes complex in such a scenario. Companies have revisited the approach to performance management, while leveraging tools to facilitate the process. Unlike in the past all conventional performance matrix that would take into account the no. of hours spent in the office, behavior with colleagues, early/late check-in/check-out, etc will have to undergo a huge change. Such matrices will not be effective any more in the new work mode from the home environment. Hence, the performance trackers have to focus more on productivity/work done, deadline breaches, no. of tasks handled, etc. All this will be supported by technology at the back-end.
As employees cater to office work from home, companies have gone ahead to make the remote working facility as comfortable as office. Some of the companies have offering allowances to help them work around their home offices. For instance buying adjustable chairs or laptops to ensure that employees don’t have to struggle with resources.
Changing Face of Offices
Even as number of offices remain shut, companies have decided to bring down the collaboration spaces like cafes and meeting rooms which recuses excess furniture that might have people randomly coming into close contact with each other. Other physical interventions include installation of equipment that makes the space as touchless as possible, such as motion-sensing doors and light switches. Some of the global offices are considering designing of spaces without doors at all, to remove surfaces that multiple people are touching.
Stress on e-learning
Although corporate have learning programs which involves in-person workshops and seminars but post COVID-19, e-learning will become a bigger part of ongoing learning. In-person learning programs won’t go away, but they’ll be reserved for certain functions and certain populations within the company. Face-to-face learning will likely be just a small element of a learning curriculum. Ramping up their e-learning platforms, companies moved quickly to ensure that their people were still building important skills and developing professionally.
Business attire becomes redundant
You may have spent time for dressing up for work before Covid-19, and even though you have dressed up while WFH, it’s unlikely that you put on a suit or heels. The trend toward casual attire seems to be replacing the more formal dressing up.
Even as employers struggle worldwide to adjust to the new normal, it will still take time before people blend into the new age working world where flexibility and experimentation will remain the key. Besides this empathy and emotionally literate leadership skills will become all the more important to retain the balance.