Disrupting businesses in every sector of the economy and infecting nearly 7 million people at the time of this writing — with 400,000 deaths globally. The coronavirus pandemic that sprung up December 2019 has had negative effects on businesses across the world, and the economy as a whole.
The stay-at-home orders that have been mandatory in several countries have caused our work lives to be affected in so many ways, from working in open offices and interacting with coworkers daily to working from home and having to rely on video conferencing apps for effective communication.
These many changes in our current work-life have left many of us wondering whether it’ll have any lasting effects on our work-lives once the pandemic is over and the current lockdown measures are eased. How will how our new work lives proceed from here?
The many effects the pandemic will have on our current work-life include:
Higher Prioritization of workers’ health.
The current attention that employee well-being has been garnered recently by organizations and employees themselves will surely increase. We will surely see employee health, wellness, and well-being being of greater importance in a post-pandemic situation.
We can predict more sick day allowances and health initiatives like the full health checks and examination of employees before they enter their workplaces.
After the pandemic and for a short period of time, signs may be posted to remind everyone to wash hands and perhaps limit how they give handshakes and hugs, and to maintain personal space.
To avoid overcrowding, keycards and sensors will monitor your whereabouts throughout the day and alert you whenever you’re in close proximity to another individual.
In the long run, contact-tracing apps for co-workers may also become part of the work-life experience to avoid the spread of future diseases and infrared body temperature scanners before access to the office building. These contact-tracing apps might even show areas with high coworker traffic similar to apps like Waze.com.
The role in-office collaboration has to play in a company is overwhelming as it is important for building personal bonds and relationships between coworkers and boosting employee productivity, it is also essential for the creation of company culture, but what is more important is the safety of an organization’s employees.
The importance of remote working at a time like this has shown as many organizations have looked too remote working as a means of sustaining their businesses and to keep them up and running.
In a post-pandemic situation, it’s likely that we see the retention of remote working as a means of working for non-essential workers by organizations. However, office and in-house collaboration are surely not going away and higher-ranking workers may still work in-house.
Restructuring of office spaces.
The fundamental design of office workspaces and offices will surely be altered. More personal space, elevator capacity limits, and demarcating spots to stand in elevators to limit physical contact.
More space between desks with coworkers sitting on every other seat, partitioning may be installed to reduce the risk of spreading diseases, fewer chairs in conference rooms, private cubicles or offices, there’s an endless list of how the overall design of the office space might evolve in a post-pandemic situation.
Business travel and conferencing.
The coronavirus pandemic will definitely have a lasting effect on meetings as a whole, we should expect fewer conferences and curtailed travel plans in the post-pandemic era. Essential meetings will still hold, but ones with lesser importance will be moved to emails, phone calls, and video conferences.
We should expect employees will only have physical meetings when a project is crucial and cannot be done via video conferencing. Conferences, meetings, and conventions will be halted for the foreseeable future with meetings that aren’t necessary would now be done with video conferencing.
Work shifts and office hours.
Organizations will have gradual returns and might not require most people to come back until there’s widespread testing, treatment, or a vaccine. Work shifts might be put in place to ensure there’s a limited amount of employees in the workplace at any given time.
Limiting the number or set of people required to come to the office has been important for employee safety as it reduces the chances of them getting the disease. Only requiring essential workers to come to the office might be the norm in a post-pandemic situation.
How business around the world is going to be changed due to the current global pandemic is unknown as we cannot predict the future with a 100 percent accuracy but by making educated guesses we might know how the impacts of the pandemic might shape our work life.
Workplaces may have significant changes in the long run, these may include new seating arrangements and the addition of building materials that discourage the spread of germs.
In order to reduce the risk of spreading future diseases, it’s a great time for new technology and innovation. We will need to be provided with access to rooms and elevators without employees having to physically touch a handle or press a button. Innovations in automatic door sensors, automatic sinks, soap dispensers, and maybe even voice-activated elevators.
Measures will surely be put in place to reduce the spread of any future diseases and pandemics to guarantee the general public and employee safety.
Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels