With COVID-19 vaccinations ramping up, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, and this pandemic might be over in the foreseeable future.
Indeed, many traditional aspects of how we carry out work had to change because of the risks. But the question remains, how will COVID-19 change the workplace for the long run?
Despite all the disturbances and stress that came with sudden change and uncertainty, many of these long-term results from COVID in the workplace may be positive.
No longer will the status quo be the norm for some businesses.
Employees’ ability to work remotely and be productive has shown that the previous standard requirement for on-site work may be an outdated concept for certain businesses where an on-site presence is not necessary.
This forced experiment has been an actual learning event for everyone and has changed the relationship between employers and employees for the better. Before the pandemic, many businesses were hesitant to accept this concept. But they were forced to adapt in real-time opened company leaders’ eyes to this new way of working.
Employees and employers alike now realize that remote work is feasible in many cases. Remote work will continue to prevail.
For some employees, this may help to reduce commuting costs and stresses and improve work-life balance. For employers, this may allow them to reduce the expenses associated with physical office locations – either by:
- Moving to smaller or less expensive locations
- Or even closing physical offices
2. Flexibility and work-life balance
Employers have learned an essential lesson on flexibility and extending grace. On video calls for conducting business, it’s common for a child’s face to suddenly appear on the screen, a dog to bark, or a baby to cry. Working around an employee’s family responsibilities in a crisis has fostered innovation and creativity.
The post-pandemic period may reflect a hybrid of on-site/off-site employees, investment in technology to ensure seamless transitions when business needs to adapt quickly to change and, through it all, balance personal and work life.
Employers who rather have their employees in the office should consider allowing flexible schedules, such as one or two days of remote work and three or four days in the office, to satisfy those who wish to remain home.
3. Technology use
Technology played a key role in maintaining the ability to work without experiencing a significant impact on how they conduct their business.
The workplace quickly adapted to extensively use audio and video conferencing to replace face-to-face meetings across a broader range of situations due to the pandemic.
Because COVID forced many businesses to close or adapt operations, managers had to leverage technology to generate alternative ways of doing business. As a result, streamlined processes and services. The most cost-effective solutions may be sustained into the future.
4. Compliance with laws and regulations
There may be new requirements targeting time off for employees, whether that’s mandatory sick leave or public-health leave.
Some businesses already had laws of this nature in place as part of mandatory sick-leave law. Other companies may not have included public-health issues in their sick-leave rules, or they don’t have an applicable law at all.
All employers will need to maintain awareness of any legislation that arises from the pandemic, and adapt accordingly.
The COVID-19 pandemic also changed the workplace by forcing companies to reevaluate safety protocols and procedures. They may have a newfound recognition for OSHA and safety expertise. As a result, budgets to invest in safety and sanitation services will increase for their businesses in the future.
Furthermore, HR professionals have become essential in helping to navigate COVID-related laws and guidance at the local, state, and federal levels now more than ever.
Overall, COVID may have wrought havoc on a global scale, but fortunately, there seems to be a silver lining poised to leave a positive legacy on the workplace.
Cosmo Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency based in Hackensack (Bergen County) and Lakewood (Ocean County), New Jersey that offers an all-encompassing range of insurance options for both individuals and businesses. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating our knowledge of the insurance guidelines for healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance, self-insurance, dental, disability, and long term care insurance, we keep our clients up-to-date with affordable plans that cover all their specific insurance needs.