It’s undeniable that the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed society in general, and the business sector in particular to a “new normal”. You might have heard of it. The term has been thrown around in every news segment, social media post, and newsletter but what does the “new normal” actually entail? What will it look like for companies and their employees?
It might be obvious by now but remote work will be the most important part of everyone’s new work habits. Being able to transition to the digital space was already the make-or-break moment for a lot of businesses when the pandemic first hit. Those who were postponing this decision or didn’t pay attention to their online presence might have found themselves losing sales because their customers could not find them online. Sure, you probably didn’t have to worry if you were a local baker who depended on customers coming through your door on the daily. But now, you might want to explore new ways of reaching those customers through your social media, your website, or an online store, to keep everything up and running. If online presence was a plus before, in the new world it will be crucial for success.
This is why we are seeing an increase in technology investment and resources. A lot of companies have realized they can save a great deal on office rentals since all their employees are now working from home. However, these savings will most likely be converted into investments in technology that will serve teams better, such as task management licenses, shared storage space, security and privacy software, and video call services. In fact, with the increased usage of these types of online services, cybersecurity will hopefully become a top priority for businesses, as every conversation and meeting will occur virtually.
It’s easy to understand the advantages that remote work will bring to companies but how will their people and culture react when everyone will be in their own homes? This is where great leadership will come in handy and will be fundamental in uniting their employees (even through various online platforms). Some team members will require more support than others in adapting to new tools and processes so managers will need to step up and promote communication, and organization and ensure each and every person on their team is comfortable with the changes, in order to achieve their goals. People will likely have more virtual meetings or phone calls but that will only ensure you stay connected to your companies. Why not have a virtual get-together on Fridays and share a beer on screen? You used to do it in person so why not do it from home? Keeping old group dynamics alive will give teams a sense of belonging and will help to maintain your company’s culture.
Nonetheless, many households are not prepared for this transition so, suddenly, people have found themselves cramped with their roommates or spouses and kids trying to concentrate on their tasks or managing terrible wireless connections. It is hard to keep track of time and maintain a healthy schedule, in which you force yourself to take breaks and define clear work and play times. Life and work have changed and these changes might not come easy to everybody. Still, we believe that this will be an opportunity to identify weaknesses and work on developing new skills. A time in which businesses will be able to adapt, improvise and overcome any challenges regarding their new work habits.