In the last few weeks, the workplace has changed dramatically and may never go back to where it was pre-COVID-19. The “New Normal” that is being talked about by government officials alongside the changing expectations of the workforce will cause a significant shift in the workplace norms. Changes are already happening as companies prepare to meet the expectations of what the “new normal” will be.
Here are three changes that organizations will have to consider in the post-COVID-19 world.
1. Remote Employees
The current pandemic is giving employees a taste of what it would be like to work from home. Once the initial shock of having their daily routines changed overnight subsided, employees are settling in and enjoying the benefits. No commute time, money saved from not having to pay for gas or eating out, and work-life balance are just a few benefits the new remote workforce has realized over the last few weeks. On top of the benefits, technology has allowed them to stay productive from home.
Employees will be looking for their organizations to provide a remote working option once the stay at home order is lifted. Organizations will need to be more flexible and allow for remote employees in order to retain their top talent.
2. Remote Employee Performance
With the remote employee here to stay, organizations will need to determine what new characteristics and behaviors their remote employees need to perform productively. Overall performance at meeting deadlines will not be the primary factor in determining if an employee is doing a good job. Qualities like communication, problem-solving and listening will become critical to the success of the organization as they embrace a more remote workforce.
3. Leading Remote Employees
Leading remote workers will magnify the importance of the employee-manager relationship. Leaders will need to spend more time honing their interpersonal skills if they want to keep their team on track. Leaders in this new reality will need the ability to quickly form relationships, communicate clearly, and gain trust. These “soft skills” will determine how successful leaders are at motivating their team members to accomplish team, department, and company goals.
The days of employees happily commuting to work are disappearing before our eyes. The new normal and the shifted expectations will change the way employees and organizations interface on a daily basis. Organizations will have to adapt, adjust and embrace the change in the workplace or risk becoming extinct. (obsolete??)