The COVID-19 outbreak continues to consume headlines everywhere. With the pandemic on the rise, most of the countries are extending the human proximity limitations, borders continue to remain sealed, lifestyles are changing to adapt to healthier living to reduce the impact of coronavirus, etc. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the global economy. Along with the economy, it will have a lasting impact on the way we'd work in the future.
Post the outbreak, all the firms have mandated work from home practice for employees to control the spread. However, with several months of lockdown, slowly and steadily businesses are getting back. As they step into the future that may or may not contain COVID-19, a fine balance between what worked earlier and what needs to happen to succeed will be paramount. The Indian Government has allowed private organizations to operate with 10% or 10 people staff and government offices with 20% or 20 people staff (whichever is higher).
COVID-19 crisis has already transformed the way corporates have been working and are expected to see some major change in trends mentioned as follows;
Work from home, a new normal:
Twitter followed by Facebook, Google and quite a few global giants mandated work from home and would continue with it indefinitely. Most of the organizations have started contemplating the idea of the distributed workforce as they have understood and experienced the feasibility of working remotely. Organizations are already working on a model to work from home sustainably if employees are wishing to do so. Going back to offices just the way we did before COVID-19 looks more of a challenge now.
Increased virtual meetings:
Since the lockdown, most of the organizations have moved on virtual meetings via different platforms only to realize their potential to replace in-person meetings. As employees and employers are adapting to the digital way of connecting for daily communication efficiently, organizations are contemplating if they would want to get back to the regular way of working just like before the COVID-19 phase.
Gender Equality at work & home:
With the lockdown implemented, the house help seems to be a concept far from the reality due to various reasons. This has increased the burden of household chores on the family members. Especially those families wherein both men and women are working, they are required to support each other in house chores to maintain a work-life balance. Organizations are considering these factors while re-defining policies/structures to promote work-life balance for both men and women to ensure they get quality time at home apart from work and home chores and create a more gender-balanced environment.
Result Oriented Trackers:
Looking at the present situation, work from home looks like it's here to stay. Organizations are using various methods to track employee performance. However, with the new work dynamics, newer tracking mechanisms are required to track and quantify performance. Conventional performance matrix would take into account the no. of hours spent in the office, behavior with colleagues, early/late check-in/check-out, etc. These matrices are no longer valid with the new work from the home environment. Hence, performance trackers would focus more on productivity/work done, deadline breaches, no. of tasks handled, etc.
9 to 5 Job, a thing of past:
With productivity-based tracking, work flexibility, work from home, etc. the new norms of work culture are being set. Employee’s work-life balance, work satisfaction, productivity, etc. were never this important to the organizations. With the employees getting used to no travel/commute while working from home, better work-life balance, 9 to 5 job concept would never again seem attractive to them.
The work policies and structure implemented post COVID-19 are re-defining the way we used to work. The new norms are focusing on better productivity and help create a better balance for people in the coming future ensuring their safety and well-being. After all, businesses are only as good as their resources are.