The effects of coronavirus have been felt in every aspect of our lives and across society as a whole. Previously unthinkable distancing and societal rules have become the norm, ingrained into our collective psyche. However, it is doing more than this. Covid-19 is also changing the way we interact and the way we work. While some of these new styles of work will undoubtedly disappear once the virus is gone, some are likely to stick with us much longer. The ‘new normal’ will leave its mark on business forever. Here are just five ways the way we work will never be the same again.
The pandemic isn’t just affecting the way we work – it’s also changing the way we get work. Many employers were already moving towards pre-appointment online application and assessment processes, but the shift has moved monumentally as a result of Coronavirus.
Skype and telephone interviews are increasingly becoming the norm in the employment process – and for good reason. Interviews done online are at least as effective as those done face to face but can also be recorded, giving employers the chance to reflect on potential employees long after the interview is over.
The end of the commute?
Where a typical working day might run 9-5, by the time you add the morning and evening commute, it becomes significantly longer. This is commonly exacerbated if you live in the country but work in the city (as is very common). Commutes of three hours or more (each way) are not uncommon once you factor in buses, trains, and subway networks.
Covid-19 has thrust remote working front and center and made organizations and employees question the validity of working in an office. Remote access and systems have improved so much over recent years that there’s very little to justify staff having to travel to a single place of work each day. Of course, for remote working to be viable in the long-term, employers have to deploy secure technology, with a Zero Trust network being a priority now, to ensure that their employees have the ultimate set up.
Improving the work/life balance
For many, the biggest concern (and biggest challenge) in life is to achieve a healthy balance between working and living, summed up by the old question, “Do you work to live, or live to work?”
Remote working has allowed employees to do both – to spend more time with family while still getting the job done. It’s a model we’ll not quickly forget, and employers are having to change their expectations of how and when their employees work.
Improving worker productivity
Working from home has brought other changes. Employers are slowly moving to a more deadline-based approach to work rather than thinking purely in terms of time at work. This makes good sense. After all, there’s no feasible reason to expect all employees will perform at their best, through the hours of 9-5, sat at a desk. Many people work better late at night – others, early in the morning. Whatever the preference, moving to a task-oriented way of working is better for most people. Get the job done – however and whenever – just meet the deadline.
Improving empathy and harmony
Through Coronavirus, ‘checking in’ has become a part of everyday life. Somehow, just knowing we can’t see people as often, has made us think of them more. This has applied to partners, friends, family – all those people we’ve missed so much through social isolation.
Somewhat surprisingly, it’s also applied to work. Management styles have had to adapt to the pressures we’ve all been under. Collectively we – managers and employees alike – have moved to more empathetic relationships. Once where the question, “How are you?” was an empty formality, it has now become more about actually being interested in a person’s well-being.