Is Before-COVID-19 the new “B.C.”?

The Future of Work — 8 ways in which your workplace will never be the same!

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In just a few months, COVID-19 has indiscriminately upended all our lives. It will change the way the world works — just like the great depression did in the past.

The question on everyone’s mind is — Will things ever go back to normal?

The omnipresent virus is said to have a large impact on the global economy. Like many of you, I too have been wondering what changes this brings with it — fundamental, structural, and organizational.

In the next few years, there’s no doubt that many companies will face a large number of challenges — and many businesses who aren’t quick to adapt or aren’t financially equipped to face this economic menace — may even die. But as all hardships pass, new industries and organizations will emerge and things will go back to normal — but I strongly feel that there will be a need to change the definition of normal.

What is this new normal? How will workplaces function?

As businesses maneuver to find their path forward during these trying times. This is how I think the pandemic could transform the way we’ve been working forever.

People still prefer working from an office than working from home, but I do see a cultural shift in one’s work lifestyle. How long will one work at the offices? The standard office hours from 9–5 will become a thing of the past. Will people come in shifts? What proximity will people work with others and for how long?

2. Most Meetings Could Be Replaced by IM And Email:

This global pandemic has been a technological booster for many. Being quick to adapt and adopt is the need of the hour! People have learned new skills and are using them to their fullest. Everyone’s developing a sturdy appetite to work virtually.

3. Business Travel Could Come to An End:

For many people, this may even be a blessing in disguise, but for many others — a loss of business or maybe even a quick getaway! There is no doubt that there has been a drop in the rate of air travel, but the real question is: How much travel demand will come back post the pandemic?

The answer is interlinked between the factors that lead to the formation of demand– price, capacity, the perceived ‘need’ and ‘value’ that business travel did bring once, keeping aside all the revised visa and medical documentation that may be required.

4. On-The-Job Medical Screening Could Become a Norm:

On the job, medical screenings, such as temperature checks and vaccinations will be the new reality for those who do return to work. This may even lead to better and individualized medical benefits being offered to employees.

5. The Gender Gap:

Do you think the men-women ratio will change in the workforce? Women are known to be better at multitasking. In my opinion with organizations being forced to work remotely — many women will be allowed to remain and grow in the workforce. Who knew the result of a global pandemic would be a more gender-balanced work culture?

6. Recruitment and Hiring:

Industries will rely heavily on digital mediums for all aspects of recruitment, interviews, onboarding, and even termination. Companies may even start relying heavily on referrals since they will not be able to meet their new hires face-to-face. Quite a number of corporates are either undergoing a hiring freeze, or even trying to reduce their headcount — this may cause organizations to shift permanently to contractual staffing, not only does this reduce costs but also helps optimize resources. The pandemic has tasked the HR teams with keeping a track of various employees & their documentation, but it is the need of the hour for them to use technology to facilitate cross-team communication and functionality.

7. Growth of Automation:

Amidst this pandemic, as people reassess their priorities & budgets, automation goes to the top of their list. People have understood that technology now is not only meant to support an oiled system but IS the new fuel. Automation has taken the frontline; this has heightened the fear of many — will their job be replaced much before the time of the job-stealing robots?

8. Compensation and Perks:

COVID-19 has taken a toll on a lot of organizations — big and small. Each organization has taken different measures to cut costs, and in some cases, employee compensation has been affected. The question now is — with a change in work hours & requirements, how will people be compensated? Will freelancing & hourly wages become a new trend?

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Working from our dining room tables, couches, and beds is the new reality. We owe it to ourselves, our employees, and our communities to consider how we can successfully transition to a new post-pandemic normal.

I’m excited to see what the future holds for us. In the meantime, stay safe, well, and woke!

The black sheep of a traditional Indian family full of engineers and doctors, aspiring to be a New Age Marketer. Majoring in Market Analytics at NYU.