What are the long-term effects of this pandemic?
How long till it blows over?
When will we succeed in undoing the impact of the virus on our economy?
These are only some of the many uncertain variables associated with the COVID-19 crisis. However, even amidst this ambiguity, there’s one thing that appears to be quite clear – the coronavirus crisis is certain to bring about many radical changes in the workplace culture.
To better understand the possible impact of the coronavirus crisis on the way we work, let’s take a closer look at how it will disrupt the workplace culture, as we know it.
An increase in remote working and telecommuting
Before this pandemic, several businesses in India and abroad were apprehensive about making telecommuting and remote working a part of their work culture. However, owing to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, it has now become evident that a significant majority of business processes can be carried out remotely, with employees working from home.
In the post-COVID world, many organizations will continue to allow their employees to work from home. And even if some companies do decide to work out of an office space, there’s bound to be a lot more flexibility, with employees being allowed to work remotely as and when needed.
Virtual meetings using collaborative platforms
Earlier, meetings were always in-person affairs. But with the nationwide lockdown that we’ve had, businesses across the country have been forced to look at more flexible ways to conduct meetings and collaborate virtually with employees, consultants, and professionals located in different parts of the country.
India’s workforce has quickly adapted to these changes in the workplace culture. Various digital collaborative platforms have made this possible. Team meetings have now moved online, and if the remote work culture is here to stay, it appears that virtual meetings will also continue to be important even after we’ve moved past the coronavirus crisis.
In the pre-COVID era, productivity was often measured by how much time an employee spent at work. Arriving early and leaving late were indicators of professional commitment. However, with work now moving online and becoming increasingly remote, the whole concept of ‘time spent at work’ has become irrelevant.
To track and measure an employee’s productivity, managers will now need to rely on the results delivered and the value added rather than merely the time spent working. And if this new result-based evaluation system is here to stay, it will likely encourage the workforce to focus less on where they’re working from, and more on how they contribute to the job.
Changes in job profiles
Another impact of the coronavirus crisis is that many companies have been forced to let go of employees in different positions. This could give rise to a shift in job profiles, with people in the existing workforce having to step up and expand the scope of their roles in order to fill in for the vacant positions.
Evolving expectations from customers also results in a change in job profiles, since employees will need to adapt to the needs of the users in the post-COVID era. All in all, it’s important to focus on increasing your skill set, so you can continue to add value to your organization even in the face of these changes. Clearly, the pandemic has disrupted not only where we work from, but also the way we work.
So, given this sneak peek into how the coronavirus crisis will pave way for many changes in the workplace culture, the need of the hour is that you adapt to these developments as quickly and as well as you can. For employees in various verticals, upskilling and reskilling can help keep pace with these changes, while for businesses, it’s important to think out of the box and adopt strategies that fit into the new normal. That’s the best way to move ahead and stay ahead.