The impact of the coronavirus on our lives has been significant; One example is the way we now view working at home versus the office.
Interestingly many organisations have quickly turned their operations virtual – something which might have seemed impossible before it suddenly became business-critical.
Leaders everywhere are now asking the question: how will the COVID-19 outbreak change their organisations and their teams?
While most people whose working lives have been affected by the virus are hopeful of things eventually returning to normal, some things will inevitably remain changed forever.
Let‘s look at how the COVID-19 outbreak has changed our working world and how to deal with these changes going forward.
Remote Working – a ‘New Norm‘?
Perhaps the most significant change has been the move from the office to remote working, which has affected millions across the U.K, Europe and North America.
The speed and success with which employees set up remote working practices is a real game-changer. It is predicted that after the pandemic, many will explore ‘working from home’ as a more permanent option.
Even before the coronavirus, employees were gravitating towards remote working roles, with 54% of respondents in one survey led by Gallop saying they would leave their current job for one that allowed them to work remotely.
Have we seen the beginning of the end of the office?
While it is true that many professionals prefer to work from home, this is not the case for everyone. Some individuals find it easier to detach work and home life for a better work-life balance when there is a clear distinction – let’s take a closer look.
Work vs Home Life
While some employers are saving money on office fuel bills, employees are saving time and money on commuting. However, it‘s not that straightforward of a win-win.
Employees are facing higher utility bills, increased loneliness and a lack of distinction between off and on duty.
Once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided will remote working be the new norm?
Maybe now is the time to discuss the best approach for all concerned with every member of the team having an input; flexibility on both sides will be critical here.
Digital Transformation and E-Learning
Moving to increasingly digital operations, many organisations have realised the importance of fast internet speeds for work-ready homes and e-learning.
Online learning has played a significant part in many employees‘, and furloughed workers‘ lives during the pandemic. Seminars, workshops and webinars have kept the workforce upskilling and driving learning and innovation while at home.
Post-COVID-19, you should aim to keep e-learning as a part of your teams‘ modus operandi to drive innovation and improve skills.
Video Replacing Face-to-Face Meetings
The COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent closure of nearly all public workplaces have forced an increase in digital applications and advancements.
One benefit of this has been the time-saving bonus of video meetings. Previously, many employees complained that meetings were eating into their productivity. In fact, in November 2019, 67% of workers in one survey said that lengthy meetings distract them from doing their job effectively.
In future, leaders will need to be more mindful about exactly who needs to be involved and if ‘meetings’ can be facilitated via video, allowing for a more focused and less time-consuming event. Robust, easy to use video platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom are now becoming the norm, so no excuse there either.
Let’s face it, the travel industry is in turmoil, and maybe those one-day trips to Paris or Berlin for a ‘meet up’ are not time or cost-effective for the business or the individuals concerned.
Tracking Changes in Your Team
Finally, it is essential to remember that every team is different. You might have been surprised by how well your organisation have dealt with the upheaval of COVID-19, while other teams might be struggling and eager to get back into the office.
Track how well your team has reacted to significant changes – what has worked well, and what hasn‘t. By all accounts, the return to relative normalcy is still some time away. Nevertheless, you can enhance your team by sticking with the positive changes the mandatory remote working has had on employees, and learn from both the challenges and opportunities it has presented.
Can Our Experience in Virtual Training Help?
We provide regular blog posts for new and experienced virtual managers to help lead their teams to success. Right now, due to coronavirus, the issue is more pertinent than ever. Head to our blog here for more advice and guidance on managing virtual teams, or for more information on how we can support you to support your team, call us on 0845 548 0833 or email us here.
Until next time,
Zestfor specialises in developing Training programmes and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets – including Pharmaceutical, I.T., and Life Sciences.
Our blend of in-classroom, online, and virtual live-stream delivery methods will engage and assure even the most introverted team members from the first meeting – whether face-to-face or virtually. To have a brief chat, call us on 0845 548 0833. Alternatively, please email our team here.