Things May Never Be the Same
The more things change, the more they stay the same goes the old adage. However, for people learning a whole new set of workplace practices while working from home, nothing may ever be the same again.
When the Covid-19 pandemic forced many people to remote officing last spring, many adaptations were necessary. Now, looking at how business practices have changed, the “new normal” may become the “everyday normal,” even years in the future.
Here are some of the positive changes we’ve seen to the workplace over the last few months:
More people working remotely
– With more of the workforce officing from home, companies are discovering their employees often work longer hours, are able to take phone calls and meetings outside of normal working hours, and are giving back more to the company than before in a more traditional office setting. In the future, companies may switch to a more remote workforce, even after the worst of the pandemic is behind us.
Less business travel
– Many people who used to travel for work have discovered that they can have productive, effective meetings via one of the many video platforms such as Zoom or Teams. This is a win-win for employees and companies as less travel means less company cost, less environmental damage, and less time away from home and family. Moving forward, companies may reassess future work travel plans.
Virtual meetings are more efficient
– By working remotely, employees can have five conversations in one day instead of traveling somewhere for one client meeting. Virtual meetings are here to stay, allowing more people to meet from different time zones all around the world, making the workday more efficient.
More acceptance of distractions in the remote office setting
–These days, distractions in the remote workplace setting are more accepted. The majority of working households have children attending virtual school from home, several adults working remotely in the same house, and cats and dogs jumping on a lap or barking in the background. This flexibility allows less stressful working conditions. Companies moving forward will recognize the blending of work and personal life creates better working environments that will allow employees and companies to both flourish.
Greater sensitivity to personal situations
– Businesspeople today start emails or sales pitches with acknowledging the difficult time we’re in and a hope that the recipient and family are well. These days, there seems to be a greater sensitivity to people’s personal situations. In fact, it now seems insensitive to receive an email without a reference to how someone is doing. This kindness and sensitivity to personal conditions may remain long after our lives return to some semblance of the “old normal”.
Many companies have already signaled a change to the workplace extending into the future by telling employees to remain remote workers through December 2020 or even July 2021. Some employers have taken a step further and told their employees that they can choose whether or not to remain remote permanently. This flexibility would have been hard to imagine a year ago.
It’s nice to see a silver lining in some of the workplace practices that might have changed permanently for the better.