The old way of working in offices with ongoing human interaction is no longer acceptable. The disastrous environment that has been created as a result of the Covid pandemic requires new adaptations within the workplace. Fortunately, the field of business is quick to forget old methods in efforts to advance onto the next level with no emotional feelings attached.
For instance, there was no period of mourning for employees who can no longer interact with their peers face-to-face. This situation is very unprecedented even in the grand scheme of things; human nature for the past existence of mankind relied heavily on communicating in person to work on tasks. Although a less interactive experience might not provide a richer overall experience for employees, there is no time for looking back.
After adopting virtual methods of conducting business during the Covid pandemic, it seems as if workplaces will definitely stick to their current practices of remote workplaces. Studies from McKinsey report that 80% of employees are satisfied with working remotely from home and 69% say that they are more than or at least as productive, working remotely as when they were working in-person.
The story behind these statistics can depict a clearer illustration as to why more employees are expressing happiness and increased work productivity.
Every employee can benefit from not commuting to work whether that be a half hour commute to even a commute that is only a couple of minutes away because you also would not have to worry about arriving early to avoid traffic or taking the time to find a clean pair of socks.
If a vaccine is discovered and businesses open their offices back up, you can probably assume that a large part of jobs will simply make the permanent shift to the virtual workplace. Considering the productivity of certain groups of people and level of comfort, you can bet that the past office workplace will see less employees.
Not to worry, organizations should follow some guidelines in order to reimagine the future of the workplace. Companies need to reimagine how work is conducted and decide on what working options are right for different types of jobs.
The first task that companies need to figure out is how to adapt their most important processes so that they can be configured virtually. If less efficiency is created by going remote, such as the case for entertainers, athletes, cars salesmen, police officers, it would make more sense to go back to the pre-Covid era workplace after a vaccine is created or organizations could just shift jobs that do not require any physical presence online and keep their interactive jobs in person. That is why there is no clear and definitive blanket answer that can solve the issues that arise from going virtual.
When we focus on the benefits of remote work, there are a lot of other advantages than reducing commuting time and increasing satisfaction/productivity. For instance, companies can now hire talented professionals without paying relocation fees. Heck, these employees do not even need visas if they work remotely.
It can be inferred that the temporary adaptations of transferring a business remotely will lead to permanent adaptations for certain workplaces, but the post-Covid workplace might differ from company-to-company. There are opportunities for a lot of companies to use the Covid pandemic as a learning experience in which they are able to experiment with new strategies and models in order to transform their company to its highest potential.
Boland, Brodie. “Reimagining the office and work life after COVID 19.” McKinsey & Company. June 8, 2020.