January 16, 2021

How Coronavirus Has Changed Future of Work

Anshika Awasthi

It takes 21 days to change a habit, 66 days to adopt new behaviour and it took a global pandemic to change the future of the workplace around the world. Millions lost their jobs, millions were forced to work in lockdown induced remote working. The future of work suddenly became uncertain to many. So how the future of work has been changed? Here’s the glimpse into what to anticipate going forward.

Irreversible flexibility

Tech giant Twitter has issued a notice for their staff that they can work “forever” if they wish as the lockdown days have proven the workplace is manageable even from home. Employees have been demanding flexibility in work from the longest time. But it is during the pandemic, flexible working arrangements are becoming a norm rather than just a trend. According to IWG, 69% of millennials will trade other benefits for flexible job options including remote work. Over a third of people working under Covid-19 induced remote work, would take a pay cut in exchange for the option.

Even before twitter companies like Barclays and Morgan Stanley have implemented flexible working policy. Workers are prioritizing health overwork more than ever, which can only be established when provided relaxation in form of office flexibility.

A new work arrangement of visiting office one or two days a week is also around the corner. The grind of the 9-to-6 job is way behind us now. There is also a generation factor for increasing flexibility demands. Unlike baby boomers, future workforce like generation z, millennials are not expected to follow the hierarchical workplace system. The emphasis is more on quality over quantity, therefore the 9-to-6 culture is expected to fade away with coming flexible workplace culture.

Accelerated digital revolution   

With increasing, remote work culture came increased consumer time spent on the internet. Covid-19 has changed the way businesses operate. From virtual workplace setup to virtual meetings, office workings are changed. Small business, start-ups to traditional offices have now established their office online. According to current trends issued by KPMG, digital platforms will become a more preferred and dominant business model in upcoming days.

Workers who weren’t well versed with growing digital trends are now becoming pro. Digital is seen as a compulsory skill for future remote recruitments. Remote teams have evolved in the digital working environment during the pandemic. Managers know how to teach, collaborate, recruit, & motivate their remote teams. Technology is evolving during this digital revolution. Cloud backup, fast communication, simplified task management, time-saving apps and to name a few have made the experience seamless. With increasing, day technology will only increase and become more affordable and portable to use.

Hybrid workforce model

The hybrid workforce model is a setup where employees can work from both the office and home. It has been a growing concept after the pandemic. Hybrid model is likely to increase by 72%. Companies are trying to balance the efficiencies gained by remote working with the benefits of social interactions and creativity, innovations generated by working in person and home.

It is a setup built to retain young talents who do not like working in a hierarchical office setup. Only 12% of workers want to return to full-time office work. Businesses use digital to increase engagement, achieve organisational agility, maintain alignment and empower teamwork. The digital change has been possible with the emerging digital tools of communication, which takes us to our next point.

Growing video communication

Video communication is one of the important factors of connecting remote teams. It serves the purpose of communicating with the audience directly. Zoom platform alone has seen a growth of 169% in 2020. Businesses around the world are using video to communicate their messages strongly to consumers. This year alone, thousands of small business owner, YouTubers, influencers, activist, entrepreneurs, used platforms like WhatsApp status, Instagram stories & Instagram lives.

In hybrid office environments, communication is maintained via video communication platforms like zoom, meet, Microsoft teams etc. The emergence of video communication is a way to establish flexible work culture and attract a diverse workforce.

Revived passion for hobbies

Flexible working of remote time saves commute time of office. This leads to people reviving their hobbies which they never thought to perform while working in an office. finding long lost passion makes you motivated and more productive. Study shows that creative hobbies enhance performance ranking by 15-30% of individuals.

Adaptable, agile & innovative companies will thrive

Companies who have succeeded and turned profits are the ones with agile setup. The pandemic scathed businesses with physical locations. Companies that were prepared for remote working had work from the home model were able to adapt soon.

Companies changed their product/services about new needs of consumer-generated from the pandemic. Example, clothing companies made masks to cater to the demands of the consumer. Another example were companies offering online services, applications, online video teaching or training etc.

Focus on the outcome, not time

As the world adjusted to new working arrangements, there emerged the temptation to monitor teams. Employees working on the other side of the table used platforms like slack, zoom, teams to stay connected with a remote team. such software offered monitoring but constant monitoring often backfires.

Employees may feel their privacy violated, sometimes technical/network issues caused hindrance. Therefore, instead of measuring employee’s input companies started shifting to result oriented approach and forward looking metrics like market share and customer feedback.

About the author

Competitive, real; loves to keep working for what it wants. An extrovert who lives by her own ideas and methods.


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