Article by Bhavin Turakhia, CEO and Founder at Flock
The way we worked may never be the same again. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed every aspect of our professional life — from our daily commute to office travel to our work environment to how we interact with our colleagues and peers.
Of course, business is not running as usual. While a large proportion of employers are struggling to adjust to remote work, some say maintaining employee morale has been a challenge, and the rest are facing challenges to do with company culture. While this draws a vague picture, it also 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 there is a vaccine for this, other changes may become permanent. Here are 3 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 realized 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 extension due to the ongoing pandemic, 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. Today, there are workplace collaboration and 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 world 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 a lot of the businesses who were earlier unsure about remote working that works 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 organizations do decide to get back to the office, it won’t be a snap back to the way 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 his/her colleagues and leaving late. So what happens when many leaders 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 to 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 by men & women at work / home
Businesses are now being forced to operate remotely and long-term flexibility could be here to stay, which allows both men and women to balance both work-life and household tasks simultaneously. This new workplace structure generates more equity at home as both men and women are able to spend quality time with their families and contribute to household duties equally. This development will also enable us to create a more gender balanced workplace in the near future.
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 all in the same place. 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 time 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.
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