There have been a lot of changes for people since COVID-19 struck. There was no concept of “social distancing” before the pandemic started. Now it has become a part of everyone’s everyday vocabulary. No one predicted that it would be possible to shut down many countries at the same time. Obviously, the way people used to work has been affected too. Where do they work? How do they interact with colleagues? And how do they deliver expected results? There are changes in the workplace all over the globe.
Here are five ways the pandemic has changed the workplace:
1. PEOPLE WILL BE READY TO WORK FROM HOME
People across the globe have been encouraged to stay at home to avoid the further spread of this virus. Many professionals quickly found themselves working from home and adjusting to such new routines. There were however, some companies who did allow WFH policies for their employees before the pandemic. For such companies and their employees the pandemic hit was easier. While the majority of businesses run in physical offices, it was hard to develop strategies to switch to WFH.
One major challenge of WFH is that many people did not have work-ready environments at home. They had to create a specific workspace to attend video calls and continue their work proficiently. Many countries and people lack good internet quality, this caused a lot of hindrance for many as well.
2. INCREASED FLEXIBILITY
The pandemic situation made changes in the workplace, by making companies take a second look at what tasks need to be completed on a daily basis. Employers had to evaluate responsibilities and job roles and how their employees do their work. Many job requirements involve in-person attendance, hence; companies switched to using applications like “Zoom” to conduct team meetings online. A big disadvantage of the pandemic was that companies were struggling to deal with flexibility. The work quality may not be 100% in a WFH situation, employers need to rethink and also consider the reduced costs of their employees working from home. While many people may prefer the WFH but there are still those who prefer in-person interactions. This is why it is important for companies to consider being more flexible.
3. MORE E-LEARNING
Since Covid-19 shut down office operations. Many companies began encouraging their employees to take various e-learning courses, in order to perform better in a WFH situation. Such courses were already available before the pandemic, but have gained more importance in the pandemic.
Ever since the world went into a pandemic state, a lot of people have started becoming familiar with attending training and seminars online. Along with taking e-learning courses while being in the comforts of their homes. Even once the pandemic ends, e-learning will still remain an integral part for employee’s developments and training.
Technology has grown vastly since 2020, many virtual training and e-learning platforms have become more accessible. At the same time, organizations can consider reducing the costs of employee training by utilizing e-learning. With the massive increase in e-learning opportunities, this is one of the ways how changes in the workplace are being made during the Covid-19 pandemic.
4. FOCUS ON EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & TEAM CONNECTION
This has been an important factor for the success of any company. Due to the pandemic, this has become more apparent with people doing WFH. Despite the benefits of a work from home policy, there are many downsides to it. Employees can feel social isolation or even lonely. Due to this, it is the responsibility of the manager to keep their teams in the right direction and motivated at all times.
Since WFH has been implemented, all employees work from different locations. Managers need to organize virtual team building activities; this can help in increasing their team’s morale and employee engagement. Such team building activities could be as simple as, virtual birthday celebrations or achievements via video calls. Another way of team building activities is to play virtual games together so it’s more fun for the employees and they can work relaxed and still deliver great quality of work.
5. REDEFINE THE PHYSICAL WORKPLACE
If you’re an organization that requires its employees to come to the office physically. Expect changes in the workplace such as sanitation protocols, social distancing measures, and temperature checks. These sorts of protocols have become integral to be implemented in a physical workplace environment during the pandemic. You can also expect a shift towards a collaborative work environment as people seek community engagement and social interaction. Before the pandemic, there were some employees who used to prefer working in isolation. But now, they will also use this as an excuse to meet colleagues, have social gatherings and be better at brainstorming.