How COVID-19 will change the way we work forever

How COVID-19 will change the way we work forever

If the way your staff work hasn’t been affected by COVID-19, you’re in the minority.  Around the world, businesses have reduced staff hours, increased remote working and embraced platforms that enable them to conduct virtual meetings, plan projects and hire and on-board staff, all from home.

Businesses that haven’t had to implement remote and flexible working strategies previously have had to design policies and procedures quickly.  One might say that nothing speeds up a process like a crisis.  Businesses have had to adapt quickly to ensure staff are protected from exposure to COVID-19 at their workplace.

Now is the optimum time to carefully consider what your ‘Business As Usual’ plan is post Covid-19 and to start implementing some changes when social distancing rules are relaxed.

Here are some proposed changes to the way we will work post COVID-19:

  • The amount of time spent in the office is likely to reduce. While people will still gather in an office, says Brent Capron, quoted in the CNBC article ‘How the Coronavirus pandemic will impact the future of work’, but the amount of work conducted in close proximity to others and how you work will be the biggest impacts post COVID-19.  Businesses who previously had all employees working from a central Head Office may consider having employees work from home a percentage of the time and even investigate regional hubs.

  • With no cure for COVID-19 in the short term, businesses may choose to look at the design of their office space to decrease the density in terms of space between employees or thinking more flexibly about office design. Adam Stoltz of HOK feels that employees will have increased choice when considering their office accommodation requirements.  Likewise, they may choose to work in a ‘hot office’ setting or seat themselves away from other colleagues.

  • Some industries may need to pivot in order to remain competitive. Industries such as hospitality, real estate and events will need to modify their business model in order to remain competitive.  This might include increasing digitisation within the business, for example.  Quite often, if an industry has been operating in a certain way for a period of time, it takes a crisis to change the way they operate, says Lisa Picard, chief executive of real estate investment company EQ Office.

The HR Consulting team at Flexi Personnel can provide a range of services to support your business during and post COVID-19.  Examples include developing flexible working strategies,  developing policies and procedures for COVID-19,  as well as providing advice and assistance to improve employee retention and engagement.