Covid-19 is disrupting every segment of our lives, and this will definitely impact our living and working habits after the pandemic is over. Let’s see which aspects of our office life may never go back to where they were before Covid-19.
Table of Contents
- New Workplace Design
- Introducing Employee Rotation
- Meetings Replaced by E-mails
- Special Sanitation Zones
- Embracing New Technology
- Reduced Business Travels
It’s no secret that office life is of major importance for our well being. The office is the place where you spent on average 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 20.8 days a month, and 261 days a year. This time is spent with your colleagues. Therefore, if you are feeling the blues right now, undoubtedly, you are not alone.
From a time in which we were excited and impatient to go to work and chat about everyday life with our colleagues, we have come to a time in which we feel anxious about leaving our homes. At the moment, the vast majority of us are working remotely and coping with the current and ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic.
Will we be able to ever go back to where we were? More importantly, do we want to? Some say the comfort in working from our homes is irreplaceable. Others, in contrast, find working from home a personal, financial, and social burden. However, there are many companies worldwide that were practicing remote work even before Covid-19, but the possibility of working in the office remained at all times. What about those that questioned if remote work is the right approach?
Nowadays, because of the spread of Covid-19, things are changing at a fast pace. Company owners and managers are obligated to implement remote working. They are introducing new ways of working that previously were not practicing because of many reasons.
Reimagining the workplace could be the first thing that business owners and CEOs would do when they return to working in their offices. Many experts believe that putting too many people in ocean-style offices will be a thing of the past. Social distancing may be here to stay and encourage company owners to rethink their office designs and invest in changing the way the offices looked before Covid-19 and making them more spacious and comfortable.
For example, open-plan offices would be transformed into smaller private offices or cubicles that can accommodate a lower number of employees. These will be designed to meet the necessary space requirements for safe office working, such as keeping a decent distance between employees. Aside from physical distance, the post-pandemic office spaces would include other measures to maintain a safe and healthy workplace for people to work, such as room partitions and desk screen dividers.
It is most likely that introducing employee rotation will be the new thing. Some companies that can’t afford to implement remote work for all employees or physically separate all of them in the office space have already established this system. Employee rotation after Covid-19 will help companies to have increased control over the number of employees coming into the office which, and, besides, will help to build a safer working environment. Furthermore, as many people are becoming anxious and want a shift from working from home, it might come as a relief to them to change their everyday routine and come into the office every so often.
Data shows that, only in the USA, around 11 million meetings are held daily. Furthermore, the average number of participants (nine) believes that at least the third of the time spent in these daily meetings is a waste of valuable time. Covid-19 imposed the need to reconsider if in-person meetings are necessary. Lengthy meetings are now replaced with simple e-mails or short calls.
People are starting to realize that the majority of the meetings are time-consuming and unproductive. This is a new thing that will probably save much time, money, and energy in the future after Covid-19.
At the time when the pandemic was increasing its pace, but lockdowns and curfews were not yet imposed, the majority of the people were still working in their offices. This was the time when companies started creating special stations for sanitation in order to strengthen the hygiene levels in the offices. These sanitation zones comprised of sanitary products for the employees such as hand sanitizers, face masks and/or antibacterial wipes. Are they here to stay even after Covid-19?
It is very likely. In fact, many companies that can’t afford to switch to remote working are investing in making the office space a safe place for their employees and will continue to do so after the pandemic is slowed down. Therefore, it is expected that these sanitary products become an indispensable part of the offices, something like the first aid kits. So, as we all are getting used to the new way of working, we might as well get used to having these types of products at our hands in the future as well.
The post-pandemic period will definitely be marked by new technology adoption. Those who were hesitant to changes and implementation of new technologies are now starting to expand their horizons. The implementation of different kinds of tools and software for project management, task management, or time tracking tools will most probably transform the work practices in the post-Covid-19 offices.
At the moment, while many people are working remotely, companies start to embrace technological advances to simplify their work. Likewise, they implement new tools to better manage their business projects and tasks and control the level of productivity and efficiency of their employees.
When the Covid-19-related lockdowns were officially introduced worldwide, so were the travel restrictions for both personal and business travel. All business trips for meetings, events, or workshops were canceled or postponed. Even though at the moment, many countries ease their domestic restrictions, they still continue to keep their borders closed for high-risk countries. The latest news from the World Tourism Organization shows that approximately 65% of all destinations worldwide have travel restrictions.
With these restrictions, all business travels for the upcoming period are postponed until further notice and all-important meetings, workshops, and events are held online. People are starting to realize that by holding remote events they could cut unnecessary travel costs and increase productivity as well. We are all aware that business travels always include expensive air or car transport, meals, and accommodation, which this way could be avoided.
Finally, Covid-19 is a part of our present, and even when it is over, it will be remembered in our future. People are learning to live and work with it. As we are adapting to it, so are our homes and office spaces. A variety of changes will come along with the pandemic, and some shouldn’t necessarily be considered negative.