Unlike other natural disasters, COVID-19 impact has a prolonged effect. Its lingering nature creates uncertainty among employers and employees alike. The virus has left the world is in a state of flux.
It has changed the way we think, act, and socialize. Most importantly, the pandemic has changed the way we work. It gave prominence to virtual meetings and remote working. The virus also showed organizations the importance of HR.
CEOs looked to their HR professionals for their expertise on how to adapt. They had to face the challenge head-on, keep the team intact, avoid layoffs, and find creative ways to work. And as we move forward, HR will have to lead the way and show workers and organizations how to forge the path ahead. Here are 5 ways COVID-19 has impacted on how we work and what has changed.
1. Personal Touch
Various studies show that human touch helps reduce the anxious feelings of staff. Employers who took the time to communicate regularly with their employees kept their morale up and got the best results. In contrast, in companies where employers were slow to offer guidance and reassurance to workers, the staff felt disconnected, uncertain, and ignored.
Organizations will need to keep the doors of communication open in the future. Transparency in the workplace is vital to facilitating goodwill among staff. One-on-one meetings could be the new norm.
2. More Work-From-Home Days
Remote working has long been underrated until COVID-19 forced companies to close their doors on brick and mortar buildings and find new ways to get the job done.
During the pandemic, organizations did online training, hiring, and performance management tasks, and workers proved that working from home is possible and can be efficient.
There will be a lot of change in the business world post-pandemic. More employees may work from home permanently, while some may only go into the office when necessary. It could be a win-win situation; staff will save on travel costs and organizations on rental costs.
3. Reorganizing Employee Benefits
Many Americans lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Now, as the economy improves, employers are likely to hire more part-time staff. Reduced hours and job sharing may also be on the cards. Companies will need to decide what skills are vital to the business, guiding decisions on employee benefits.
If more employees work from home, smaller office space is required, which means less onsite benefits like gyms and free meals are needed. The organization can then invest in other at-home benefits for employees like laptops, remote learning, and home office stipends.
4. Have an Emergency Preparedness Plan
Organizations that faired the best with the pandemic are the ones who had an emergency plan and a response strategy in place. Even if all disasters are different, a company can adapt its emergency plan to the given situation.
Following the pandemic, more businesses are likely to take business-continuity planning and disaster management seriously.
5. Fewer Meetings
Emails and instant messaging could easily replace meetings post-pandemic since people have learned to embrace technology during their time at home. Remote teams can continue their discussions via video.
Even business trips will decrease as companies cut travel budgets to recoup losses incurred due to the pandemic. We can look forward to more virtual conferences and conventions.