When the COVID-19 pandemic began, businesses were forced to change the way they operated practically overnight. Working from home, video calls, and other changes have all become commonplace. If you’re wondering when things will return to how they were, the answer may be “not for the foreseeable future.” Even after the pandemic is over, many predict that some of these changes are here to stay.
- Work from home – Rather than reduce productivity, as many feared, employees are often more productive at home. Employees also enjoy the lack of a commute and the ability for their time to be more flexible. At the same time, businesses can benefit financially by downsizing their physical office spaces. Many companies expect some portion of their workforce will be working from home on a permanent basis now.
- Video conferencing – Face-to-face meetings are no longer feasible, and travel in many areas is strongly discouraged, so companies have turned to video conferencing to conduct both internal and client-facing meetings. While some were uncomfortable with this change at first, it has quickly become a part of everyday life. Going forward, companies can save both time and money by eliminating the need to travel to meetings, and facilitate cooperation over video.
- Collaboration technology – With the adoption of a variety of new technology, companies have been able to foster collaboration even when everyone is working remotely. This technology has been so successful, companies are expected to continue and expand their usage in the future.
- Online training – Employee training typically takes place at in-person seminars and workshops. With those no longer possible, companies have turned to e-learning platforms. By allowing employees to take part in training wherever they are, and in some cases on a flexible schedule, companies can make employee training easier and more accessible for everyone.
While companies were forced to make rapid changes to how they operated, many of these changes will carry over into the future, providing many benefits. As people begin to return to physical offices, there will be new changes, such as physical barriers and closed common areas. Though it’s hard to know exactly what workplaces will look like once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, it’s safe to say our way of working has been changed for the foreseeable future.