In just a few months, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the daily lives of people around the world. The economic impact of the virus has led to new categories of “essential” workers, as well as the implementation of remote work on a large scale by most companies whose activity allows teleworking.
Following sanitary recommendations, workers have abandoned their daily commutes to work from dining room tables, sofas and beds in their own homes. Many may find themselves in this situation in the long term, as companies struggle to find a way forward as new restrictions continue to be imposed.
10 Ways COVID-19 Could Change The Way We Work Forever
1) Working In An Office could Become A Status Symbol
With more people working remotely, companies can open regional hubs or provide access to co-working spaces wherever their employees are, rather than having the majority of their workforce in a central office.
As a result, corporate headquarters can become a status symbol for organizations that still have the budget and a large enough workforce in a major city.
2) Most Meetings Can Be Replaced By Emails And Instant Messaging
The pandemic has been a kind of technological equalizer where people who were previously unaccustomed to using technological tools in the workplace have had to adapt. And in some cases, the result has been greater efficiency.
For this purpose, a more agile way of working and communicating with colleagues can be generated: meetings will be turned into emails and emails into instant messages.
For team members who no longer work together in a central office, phone calls and meetings have shifted to videoconferencing.
3) It Could Be The End Of Business Trips As We Know Them
As travel of all kinds comes to a halt, teleworking is adopted on a large scale and companies try to cut costs and balance their budgets, many experts believe that business travel, as we know it will be a thing of the past.
Changes in user preferences and social distancing will limit large group events, such as conferences and conventions, and decrease the volume of business travel.
4) Office Buildings Could Become “Conference Centers”
The office buildings of the future could become meeting facilities, while specific work is done remotely. This could mean fewer offices and more meeting spaces to host conferences and other company-wide events.
However, open layouts will change: desks could be spaced, partitions could climb, cleaning stations with hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes will become the norm, and workers can seek spaces for focused work, such as privacy booths. .
Also, workers will want the security and control of having a personal space that they go to every day or every few days and can clean frequently.
In shared spaces, there will be door sensors, automatic sinks and soap dispensers and voice activated elevators.
5) Mandatory Medical Examinations At Work Could Become The Norm
Health and legal experts predict that medical exams at work, such as temperature checks and antibody tests, will be a reality for those returning to work in the coming months.
Not only are companies allowed to monitor employee temperatures; they are encouraged by health authorities to do so.
6) Co-workers Could Get Even Closer
If there is a silver lining to how the pandemic will affect the future of work, it is that it could strengthen the personal relationships we form with colleagues, as the ability to see colleagues at work has long been taken for granted working every day without giving it the value it had. Therefore, the teams will be much more united when they can return to the office.
Also, gestures that can convey kindness and respect from a distance, such as a nod or a smile, could become the social norm.
7) Face Masks Will Be A Wardrobe Staple
Although business casual wear will likely remain the norm in offices, two new types of clothing could also emerge from the pandemic: the rises of office wear to work from home and facemasks as a socially mandatory accessory.
Wearing a mask in the office will be common, especially in larger companies with more workers sharing tight spaces.
8) Home Office Fees Could Become A Common Benefit
If working remotely becomes the norm, then home office fees could become a common benefit in the workplace.
For remote work to be effective, companies will need to provide employees with the resources they need to be productive. This includes a small remuneration that will allow workers to personalize their space in a way that they consider sufficient.
This remote flexibility will also allow organizations to save money on the overhead of running office facilities.
9) Automation Could Be Accelerated
Due to social distancing measures, many organizations in all sectors have been forced to find ways to operate with as few employees physically present as possible. An added bonus: bots and algorithms can’t get sick.
The coronavirus has caused an acceleration of some job trends such as automation and employees may need to develop new skills.
For years, companies have been working to automate repetitive jobs through algorithms and bots that can complete repetitive tasks. Researchers have found that this type of automation is adopted more quickly during economic downturns.
10) There Could Be Greater Demand To Bridge The Digital Divide
The lack of Internet access for some workers means that millions of employees worldwide, regardless of industry, will not be able to work remotely.
Although conversations about the digital divide have been going on for years, the coronavirus pandemic has put an even greater focus on it. Therefore, if we want to ensure that all employees can work, socialize and learn from home, a discussion has to begin on how to build a long-term solution.
For each country, that solution could be different, as they have different geographies, available resources, and political environments. But with the right programs and funding, all countries could offer citizens equitable access to work remotely in the future.