What is the future of work? Three months ago, that might have seemed like a far-reaching question, but in the light of the coronavirus epidemic, organizations are quickly realizing that it’s time to develop an answer, at least for the short term.
In any given crisis, the businesses that succeed are those who look at conflict as an opportunity to adapt and develop their structure and processes. As we move forward in the era of COVID-19, many corporations are already reimagining the way they do business. Following the lead of these organizations, from major tech giants to fellow small businesses, can help you keep on your feet and exit the crisis with a smarter, stronger company.
A greater focus on health
Employee health has quickly become the main focus of workplace changes. Many offices are adopting health policies like regular temperature checks, hand sanitizing stations, and mask requirements before employees can enter the building. The physical office structure is changing as well: companies with open-air offices are integrating measures such as clear plastic sneeze guards, HVAC airflow changes, spaced out desks, or added cubicles.
Given the pressing health concerns, we’ve also seen businesses switch to digital-only meetings and reconsider which meetings truly bring value to the company. In the current economic situation, it may be helpful for certain teams like a sales team to meet even more frequently than before, while other internal or external meetings may be rescheduled or canceled. In addition, the pandemic has also called many standard policies into question, like the need for guaranteed sick leave and care leave, meaning that some organizations are rapidly changing the way they provide for their people in general.
Updated work from home policies
At the end of the COVID-19 crisis, organizations may find themselves with far fewer in-office employees at any given time—or even no in-office employees at all. Some major technology companies, including tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, are changing their policies to allow employees to work remotely for the long term, with the possibility to make these changes permanent even after the outbreak is resolved. And as employees learn to tackle issues remotely and to collaborate digitally, companies must think on their feet to adapt their workplace policies. Working in a digital office alters the way a workforce engages with a company, the way employee training is carried out, the way we adapt to digital tools, and even the expectations customers have of a company.
This current crisis may be one of the toughest leadership tests you’ll face, especially in light of the health and economic concerns of this virus. Reimagining your organization as a nimble team that can make crucial decisions quickly, collaborate, and work remotely, and move forward through uncertainty may be exactly what’s needed to help you succeed in the long run.