Reimagining workplaces post-pandemic: What would be the new normal?
‘‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’’
Did you ever imagine in your wildest of dreams that half of humankind will be under lockdown? No Right! These are unprecedented times and they call for unprecedented measures. From a hustling life to homebound, from face to face conversations to virtual meetings, a lot has changed in our lives and a new normal is being defined.
The impact on businesses and workplaces has been immense and will have a cascading effect in the near future as well. Here are a few trends that are here to stay:
Scattered work hours & remote working
The workplaces will be utilized judiciously and scattered working hours will be a new normal post-pandemic. Employers will not only save vast sums on office space and other overhead, but they can also attract and retain the best employees by providing more flexibility to work. With the help of video conferencing software like Skype or Zoom, employees can be just as productive at home as in the office. And all from the comfort of their homes, also saving travel time.
There will be an increased push for remote working too. Commercial estates are huge overheads in a business’s profit and loss statement. Increased push for Work from Remote locations will surely save huge bucks for enterprises.
Workplaces will become safer
Post Pandemic era will surely be different, the use of more sanitizers, disinfectants, masks, gloves will make its way into normal lives. The focus on cleanliness and hygiene of workplaces shall be even more now. Workplaces will have to be more supportive of the employees. Remember- Social Distancing is here to stay and for good. Gone are the days when we could go to the water filters or the pantry for casual chit chats!
Digitization of businesses and the Impact
The businesses across all sectors have realized the power of digitization and its positive impact on both employee experience and business outcomes. The impact of digitization will resonate across all industries and functions. However, new roles shall be created. There is an urgent need to upskill ourselves to be relevant in the job market. On the flip side, a lot of processes will get simplified with the help of technology. Hail Tech! The Mantra is simple- Upskill and Stay Relevant.
Increase of virtual sessions & training
As there will be an increased need for the employees to upskill themselves, expect an increase in virtual training, and online learning and development initiatives. Employees will be expected to learn new tools and acquire new skills, not just in their area of expertise but in other functional areas as well. A lot of Digital learning platforms have already grabbed the opportunity and have seen a tremendous audience on their platforms.
Employee centered business strategies
There will be an increased call across industries and workplaces to put in place more employee-centric norms such as an increased number of paid sick leaves and work from home. Child care facilities for working moms, group health insurance, various employee well-being initiatives such as Yoga, Meditation Sessions will be a focus for companies in the new normal.
In the end, I would like to conclude with the lines from one of my favorite poets of all time – Sir H.W.Longfellow
“Look not mournfully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart.”