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Corporates and Businesses were swift in action when coronavirus was spreading rampantly. They allowed employees to carry computers, laptops, and other work-related essentials to home. This ensured both the safety of employees as well as the continuity in the workflow. HRs and managers were in constant touch with employees educating them about coronavirus safety guidelines and also about maintaining productivity while working from home. Half of 2020 is gone this way.
Lockdown relaxations are gradually easing, and companies are re-opening their workspaces. To escape the quarantine’s side effects, some employees are expecting to get back to their 9-5 office routine. However, most discussions and studies about post-coronavirus work trends are giving a unanimous outcome – the future of work will never be the same as in pre-COVID times.
Wondering why? Let’s move on to understand some related observations from corporate giants across the globe:
Companies are changing the way they serve their customers by making the best use of technology. Clothing brands that specialize in branded garments are shifting to produce masks and home-wear essentials. Schools and colleges are now teaching through online classrooms during this coronavirus pandemic. Services that require face to face interaction with customers are now serving virtually on instant messengers and online. Such changes would be noticeable across all businesses in increased quantity soon.That said, companies that could adapt to the change in the world would have better chances of survival. Needless to say, employees should adapt themselves to such strategic changes and upskill accordingly to safeguard their jobs.
That said, companies that could adapt to the change in the world would have better chances of survival. Needless to say, employees should adapt themselves to such strategic changes and upskill accordingly to safeguard their jobs.
Companies are giving employees the flexibility to work in the comfort of home. However, the temptation to monitor their activities and keystrokes did not dry up. Experts warn that this temptation may backfire and can even push employees to leave the company.
Encouraging employee ownership is now the best option for companies. Micromanaging is now a thing of the past. As such, the focus is now shifted to the employee’s productivity. And employees should recognize that.
The absence of interaction with colleagues and tea break chit chats is a big disappointment in this current trend. Companies are introducing an antidote for this in the form of virtual gatherings.
Meetings, breaking the ice with the team for new joiners, lunches, and group fun are all virtual. Brainstormings will now happen over virtual lunches. Tea chats and work break fun will continue through Slack or Hangouts. Google Meet, Zoom and WhatsApp video calls will now set the stage for face to face interactions.
Work from home is not an entirely new concept. However, post-COVID there is a spike in the number of companies permitting its employees to work from home. Gartner observed that while 30% of employees worked from home before the pandemic, the mark is now 48%.
Also, companies such as Twitter already declared that their employees could permanently work from home. This means, with a good laptop, pair of headsets, and Wi-Fi connectivity, working from a van with a Jimny roof rack loaded with a beer crate can become the most loved option to enjoy working remotely.
Pandemic pushed companies into unanticipated changes. Accordingly, management is encouraging its employees to diversify their skills to serve the needs of the company.
This may need additional efforts from the side of employees. Probably in the form of accepting an enhanced workload, or learning new skills fast and contributing to the company. In the long run, this can be good both for the company and the employee.
Millions of people across the globe lost their jobs or experienced pay cuts in the name of cost-cutting measures of the companies due to the COVID crisis. CEOs, high-level executives, and senior management, too, were not exempted from this.
Those employees who are lucky enough to continue their jobs should silence their hopes of gaining hikes and promotions. This is the only option probable at least until the economy regains. Meanwhile, staying in tune with the job market trends and diversifying the skill set could be the wiser option too.
All roles may not be performed from home all the time. Experts feel that employees in some roles may have to attend office once in a while. Thus, though most work will happen virtually, the chances of attending office wearing masks and maintaining social distancing cannot be ruled out.
COVID proved that though the technology is pacing, it is the people who are indispensable to continue the business. Thus, we can expect a shift towards leveraging technology and human involvement with more AI infusion in day-to-day post-COVID work routines.
Businesses now may need new skills and roles. HRs shall have to hunt for such professionals who can solve the business challenges.
Besides, companies will now have to ensure that employees can assure productivity while staying strong amidst this pandemic stress.
Thus, the role of HR is widened in many ways – widening the talent hunt, encouraging employees to participate in virtual training, focusing on their mental health and safety, making sure that team collaboration is intact through fun activities, etc.
Working from home has been a trend since the past. Now it would be the new norm. Occasional attendance in office, balancing home and work while working virtually, diversifying the skill set, ready to grab more workload and not in much hope of appraisals – will now become the new normal work trends post coronavirus.