The business world is in the process of finding its way around working in the post-COVID era. Companies have set new operation guidelines; employees get used to the new ways of working post-COVID-19, but all bring collateral changes as well. Some of them are positive for the individual; others promote business technologies or emerging types of automation and but all of them show how much the Covid-19 pandemic has affected every personal and business situation for freelancers, corporations, and small businesses across the globe.
The following big and small changes to the ways of working will likely also alter the overall business landscape. Not only in terms of organization and communication but also in working practices and business technology users.
IM (instant communication) over EM (email communication)
Employee that has to work from home may wonder why they were sending emails till now asking themselves “how much time do I spend emailing colleagues and managers?” The answer is around 28% of your workweeks or 11.2 hours per week. In other words, much more time than employees need for communication. Therefore, employees decided for the sake of efficiency and the chance to save time to start using more instant communication apps. Some apps that show high increases in usage are the likes of Slack, Google+ Hangouts, and Wrike. They offer fast, easy, and uncomplicated business communication. This way, ideas spread easier; there is no need for endless back and forth emails. Moreover, business interaction becomes less formal, more direct, and extra effective.
Physical offices gain higher business status
Business headquarters will gain a more powerful reputation and status. They will become emblems of a successful business. They will also showcase the financial ability of a company to maintain a physical office and not all of its workforce working remotely. And since the virus gets stronger with close contact, the offices of the near future will be floors without separating walls but with light and fresh air coming in and desks within the acceptable distance limits. This new way to work will mean that employees will coexist with a few colleagues in person and with the majority of their team members spread around the world, their country, or city. This is not just a business change; it is one of the most fundamental cultural turns in decades.
The decline of business trips
As you can imagine, a business habit that the Covid-19 deeply hurts is the ability to go on business trips. Till now, going somewhere for business reasons was the usual business requirement. It was sometimes fun and luxurious, depending on the company you were working for. At present, airline companies have suffered major financial blows, and they will keep losing money up until Covid-19 seems like a long-lost memory. Apart from that, businesses will be thinking twice to spend valuable resources on trips when their overall financial health is not favorable yet. Instead, video conferencing apps like Zoom, which had more than 300.000.000 daily meeting participants in April, will be the primary communication channel for client meetings and team discussions.
9-to-5 may belong to the past
The new way of working remotely can be tough at times. It cannot follow operating guidelines related to traditional office work. For example, strictly working from 9-to-5 can be problematic for your mental stability and quality of life. Experiencing your personal and business life from home is not easy. Therefore, professionals should be able to make their own working schedules. For example, splitting work between 9-12, 2-5, and 6-8 could be an attractive alternative. Not moving from your chair for 8 hours straight is not only impossible, but it’s also inhuman. Moreover, employees with young children or sick people under care, parents (i.e. new or single mothers), and people with disabilities will be able to find positions regardless of mobility. Expectedly, this new way of working post-COVID-19 will increase employee engagement, professional accountability, and team productivity.
Business technology: The home edition
Even though business technology has made significant progress in the last decades, it was still not part of most professionals’ home offices. The reason is that people did not work from their houses that much. So, there was no need for a good laptop, a sharp screen, or a general work infrastructure. However, the emergence of telecommuting created the need for business-related technological devices at home. Companies like Google, Twitter, and Shopify have already started reimbursing the necessary home office digital equipment. According to financialexpress.com, the next step could be a monthly allowance incorporated into the employees’ salaries to cover Wi-Fi usage, office furniture, digital devices, business management software, and the cost of their maintenance and subscriptions.
Business automation may take over certain jobs
At the present, invoicing and billing software or accounting platforms offering types of automation are the ones resolving issues and greatly assisting users in improving their working processes. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, companies may need to look at other types of automation and artificial intelligence differently. They should study the variety of tasks performed by their workforce. Then, minor jobs could be assigned to automation systems to give employees free time for more significant tasks. In this scenario, new automation may even come up to complete jobs that employees would do, otherwise. Thus, artificial intelligence and its systems will be favored by the recent pandemic. Last but not least, employees should be additionally trained to improve their understanding and subsequently, control these new types of automation.
To sum up, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the world. It also brought rapid changes to the way people work. However, the new working standards of operating processes, the use of business technology, and different types of automation, as well as the different approach to work-life balance, will undoubtedly transform the business world in the near future.