There is no disputing that the coronavirus has shaken up the workforce. The viral pandemic has made working from home the new norm for millions of workers. Thousands of employers have been encouraging or mandating employers to work remotely the last two months or so, and with the virus still hitting the labor market hard, working from home may last a few more. As a result, this shift in working environments is going to have a permanent impact even after the virus is no more. Here are three ways COVID-19 will shape the future workplace.
With millions of people now working from home, employers have to be more flexible. Even though more and more employers are offering the versatility of occasionally working remotely, most typically don’t offer remote work opportunities. However, with employers now allowing remote work to keep business running during mandated quarantine orders, mindsets are starting to change. Employers now realize that their workers can be just as productive (if not more so) while working from home. As a result, employers will likely be more susceptible to working from home days to offer a better work-life balance and use it as a tool to attract new employees in the future.
Now that many of us are working from home, collaborating and communicating with our co-workers is looking much different. Instead of walking down the hall to ask a quick question or attend a weekly meeting, we are now using technologies like Microsoft Teams or Zoom to “meet.” In fact, Zoom’s stocks soared by an impressive 39% last month alone. These communication tools are allowing workers to stay in close contact with one another, even outside of the office. So now, instead of a long, drawn-out meeting that eats away a huge chunk of your day, we can send a quick message to a teammate and receive an answer in minutes. This gives us all time back in our schedules to get more work done.
Stronger employer-employee trust
This one is crucial. A lot of employers are skeptical (which is understandable) about allowing their employees to work remotely. Well, during this pandemic, many no longer have a choice. Employers that were once completely against working from home now have a complete team working remotely. And many are experiencing excellent results come from it. A recent survey found that working from home “not only benefits employees by eliminating their daily commutes, it also increases productivity and leads to healthier lifestyles.” This is a massive relief for employers that were against working from home before the virus impacted our workforce. As a result, employers will be more comfortable letting their teams work remotely in the future. And this trust will go a long way with employee retention.
Working from home is definitely an adjustment for both employers and their workers. However, there is a lot of good results from it and it’s safe to say that COVID-19 will shape the future workplace in a positive way.