The coronavirus pandemic has led to a catastrophic change across the world. During the lockdown, while few sectors effectively managed to work from home, daily wage labourers and the industries where remote working wasn’t feasible bore the brunt. When the lockdown lifts off, you will be grappling with the ‘new’ normal in your daily routine, especially your work life.
When you get back to work after lockdown, you will have to brace yourself for dynamic changes in the physical office space and the work culture. Here are a few things that you can expect:
Businesses and organizations will implement the six-feet distancing rule with adequate spacing between workstations, staggered lunch timings, and restricted gathering inside the canteen and common office areas. The entry and exit points of offices and the elevator lobbies will be modified to prevent crowding and ensure smooth movement of people.
Access cards will replace biometrics. Adequate safety measures will include a stringent cleaning system, screening of employees entering the office, regular sanitization of the workplace, and maintaining proper ventilation. Hand sanitizers at each workstation will become commonplace. Also, organizations will be extra cautious in managing sick employees.
After the lockdown lifts off, business clients would be wary of physical meetings and conferences. Instead, they would prefer telephonic and video calls over the former. Organizations dealing with sales and marketing will have to get accustomed to this new culture and switch from business-related travels to online arrangements.
The lockdown has forced many organizations to embrace remote working. To ensure employee safety, chances are most organizations will continue remote operations for the majority of the workforce, barring those on crucial projects. Remote working will also help organizations cut down on office infrastructure expenses and save employees’ commute time.
But this would mean ensuring employees are equipped with the required internet bandwidth and uninterrupted connectivity. The organizations will also have to implement a systematized plan for workforce productivity and people management to continue a seamless remote working culture.
Working from home has certainly increased the incidences of virtual meetings. During e-meets, you will have faced issues where your toddler was peeking into the call as well as other unavoidable breaks. That being said, such situations have made one more accommodating on a personal level.
There have been more leeway in professional etiquettes. Now remote working will further reduce the stress on corporate dressing and grooming. Another benefit of virtual meetings will be a convenient collaboration between people physically present in the office and the ones working remotely.
While the thought of resuming office might be exciting, you will still have a fear of taking the crowded public transport. You may want to avoid working in a closed office space. Also, the lockdown has instilled an uncertainty of life in many, leading to anxiety and depression.
Besides, senior citizens and employees with health problems would fear to step out of the home. For such employees, resuming work will be difficult. In some cases, people who’ve seamlessly moulded into a remote working schedule would find it challenging to return to the regular work routine.
In such cases, organizations will have to ensure safe transportation and favourable work conditions for both people working from home and office.
The lockdown has lessened the rigidity of a physical workspace and the need to be present at work. Once the lockdown is lifted, organizations might implement flexible working hours and actively ensure a professional and personal life balance. Special measures will be introduced to engage employees working from home and make them feel a part of the organization.
Companies will have to prioritize the physical and mental well-being of office employees and remote workers. When you get back to work after lockdown, remember to maintain social distancing and take adequate safety measures. Stay positive and build a routine for a healthy mind and body.