The world is passing through a difficult time. COVID-19 and remote working has badly affected business and workplace culture. But there is a strong hope that this situation will improve for sure. The economies will bounce back and situation will return to normal. Experts are confident that the present crisis will bring some positive changes at workplace.
Let’s find out what are those 10 positive changes COVID-19 will bring at workplace.
1. Flexibility in Work
The most important lesson organisations are continuously learning in this crisis is that flexible working hours and working from remote place actually improve productivity. Now the leaders are becoming more flexible in their management style. In the past many research studies were asserting this lesson that giving more choices and control to employees about the work hours and places will enhance their productivity. But this present crisis has proven that claim.
Now the organization have realized the value of flexibility and are investing in setting up technological systems to countinue with this flexibility in the future. In his recent interview, Adam Grant, a professor at the Wharton School, talks about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world of work.
2. Genuine Leadership
This present crisis of COVID-19 has also tested leadership. The leadership with genuine character can survive a crisis. It is test of its nerves, vision, communication, empathy and resilience. In crisis, every moment counts and it does not give you any time to take decision.
Those who stayed clam, proved their character and remained connected with their team have become as genuine leaders. They will be leading more effectively in post COVID-19 business world. And more importantly they will leave a profound and lasting impact on the business and work culture. They have redefined the traits of leadership which will stay in post COVID-19 organizational cultures.
3. Strong Connections with Colleagues
Before COVID-19 employees take social connections with co-workers and teammates granted. They believed that only work matters at workplace. But it has proven wrong. Work is very social in nature where people create bonds and connections while working together. The present crisis whether it about losing jobs, closing down of business or working remotely without seeing each others for long period of time make them realize how important are these connections and bonds.
This new meaning and value of relationship with colleagues and teammates is also a significant lesson employees have learnt in the time of COVID-19 pandemic. This lesson will have positive impact on relationship among co-workers.
4. Support System at Workplace
This COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on mental health of employees and workers. Many agile organizations have realized it at the very onset of this pandemic and responded quickly by setting up support systems. Many organizations started wellness programs and peers support and a new style of mentoring has been initiated to address the employee’s problems. The purpose is to take care of employees’ mental health and emotional well being.
This lesson and new culture will not go away even the situation improves. Because the organizations have learnt that employees mental and emotional health is more important than the physical health.
5. More Diversity at Work
Due to changed working conditions now employees and workers have become more adaptable. They have embraced new rules and finding new ways and means to manage their work. Organizations have also found different potential and abilities in their human resources and become more respective to creative ideas and solutions.
This new emerging culture has produced more space for diversity at workplace. Working remotely also bring together people with different nationalities, ethnicity and cultures. This is again a positive impact which COVID-19 has brought and will remain with organizations for good.
6. Use of Technology
During the lockdown and working from home, workers and employees got opportunity to enhance their capacity to use and adapt to new technology. Everyone has now better understanding of whether it is use of different online communication tools and apps, or use of online banking etc.
Now organizations are heavily investing in building new systems for connectivity and creating different platforms which will help workers and employees at all level to adapt to new technology.
7. Less Travel and Out-door Events
During the current pandemic, many business meetings have been shifted to online due to restrictions imposed on travel and social distancing. Therefore, now managers and leaders are now travelling less and meeting online. The biggest advantage is saving of travel cost and time. In the same way, huge business events are also taking place on line. Even conferences and seminars are being shifted to webinars.
This is another positive practice which will stay after COVID-19 because organizations are learning that it is not always necessary to travel and hold big business events when the same purpose can be achieved through online systems if it is used correctly.
8. Efficient System and Process
The present crisis has exposed fragile and bureaucratic systems and process in organizations. These were operating comfortably with same old structures and systems. But COVID-19 disrupted the operations and made organizations to realize the need of replacing their slow bureaucratic system with efficient one.
The wise organizations did experiments and found solutions for decision making process in this time of crisis. Because this was the demand of the new situation. These experiments provide new basis and principles for making more efficient system and process. And there will be a new efficient organization culture which will better respond to change and crisis of the future.
Humans perform best in adversity. Due to threats of survival, organizations tend to think out of box and come up with innovative solutions to address these threats. And this is what exactly happened in the crisis of COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this crisis, business is badly affected many of organizations were stuck and could not keep their operations running.
Creativity and innovative solutions has become a buzzword in organizations. And in the post COVID-19 workplace, there is a huge potential for digitalization and innovation and due to these values there is a hope that quick advancements will happen in the near future.
During lockdown time and when organizations are following policy of social distancing, workers and employees are using online learning means to brush up their skills and knowledge. This is cost effective and also offer more choices to employees.
There will be in-person training programs when it is absolutely necessary to have those type of sessions. But now organizations have their learning curve in developing an e-learning programs for their employees. So many innovative and relevant e-learning opportunities will be available at every workplace in the future.
Take Home Points
- There are 10 positive changes COVID-19 will bring at workplace.
- Organizations will operate with much more flexibility.
- New leadership traits such as empathy and compassion will be valued.
- Relationship among co-workers and colleagues will be stronger than before.
- Organizations will set up and create support system for its human resource.
- There will be more acceptance of diversity at workplace.
- Employees capacity to use technology will be improved.
- Organizations will save cost due to reduced travel and big business events.
- More efficient system and process will replace old bureaucratic system.
- Organizations will be looking for innovative solutions more than before.
- E learning will be a regular feature at workplace.