The COVID19 pandemic has not only distanced us socially, but also changed our perspective about going out anymore. Whether it is leisure travel, ration shopping, or going to work, every scenario will entertain the thought of being distant from people as a better measure.
The matter of observation is that the pandemic has not just made temporary adjustments to our work life. One prime example of this is the biggest corporations in the world shifting permanently to remote work. So, even if the vaccine comes for COVID, the below work trends are here to stay.
New Risk Assessment
Soon after the unlock 1.0 was released in India, businesses started bringing people back to work. The government issued mandatory rules to be followed at work premises for ensuring social distancing and minimizing contact amongst employees.
This also marks the beginning of including new risk assessment factors for organizations, which allows only a limited number of people to work from office. This can either promote remote working for the remaining employees if they can maintain efficiency, or reduce the manpower to sustain crucial business requirements first.
With months already in, and many more to go, the workforce will surely get accustomed to the remote environment. Resuming work after an extended period of closure will require a slow transition. Alternate work days, flexible hours, and adrift lunch hours will be seen as a permanent trend in the future.
The new policies will both benefit and hurt the employees. In terms of benefits, employees will get better work timings, leaves, medical exigencies, sanitation, and hygiene at work. On the other hand, with businesses shifting to remote structures, the paychecks might exclude travel allowances and other provisions that are currently in place for physically present employees.
Rewards & Recognition
An excellent employee will always shine in any situation. What will change however is the way they will be assessed. Till now, the recognition of employees’ productivity included both objective and subjective analysis. But, with remote work being in place, the subjective part may tither away. Data centric assessments, task based performance reports will be the leading factors in determining the increments, rewards and promotions of employees in the coming future.
Any office administrator would know the huge expenses incurred due to the little requirements of running a physical office. From stationary to proper internet services, everything leads to expense of the company for efficient performance of the workforce.
But, with remote work, these expenses may shift dramatically. TCS recently started providing internet service allowance to its employees working from home. But, on the other hand, with less people present in the office, the expenses can shift from petty cash to digital tools instead.
Even when we were working at our offices, there were some kind of tools always in place. However, most of the coordination used to be face to face while keeping the digital interaction as just a backup base.
With rise in the remote teams, the dependency on digital tools will increase manifold. From google meet for the brainstorming sessions to slack for task management dashboard, almost every aspect will become digital. Even recruitment is rapidly transforming digitally by conducting online interviews, digital paperwork authentication, and even onboarding.
What about the activities that we used to have in our offices at certain occasions. We know that a lot of people would be relieved that they don’t need to participate in such things anymore. But, social interaction is a crucial part of maintaining our workplace health. The Diwali celebrations, Holi competitions, or simply a day out with the whole team at a bowling alley, all were more than just entertainment mediums.
Certain applications like Zoom have a chatroulette feature that matches two random teammates to have a quick chat. Other platforms are also including light multiplayer games to keep the interaction in place. But, whether we agree or not, the humane touch of social activities at work will not be the same anymore.
The New Normal
With uncertainty in what will happen tomorrow, we are somehow managing our day-to-day work the best we can. Being certain what the new normal will be is still hard to determine. Remote work though, is something that will stay in our lives permanently. The extent to which it will be inclusive will vary both on individual organization and the challenges it faces in the coming future.
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