Fast rewind to February this year, none of us would have imagined that in few weeks to come we will all be working from home for weeks or even months and not see each other face to face.
But here we are, continuously trying to find our footing and hoping we will get things under control soon. More than that, growing impatient to get back to our normal lives.
However, we can’t stop thinking about whether we will ever go back to the way things were before.
By now, it is clear that things won’t go back to the status quo. No, we won’t, and we will face a “new normal”. At least as far as work is concerned. Because this pandemic will affect the way businesses work.
For many businesses, it’s already been an eye-opening experience, with all of their employees having to work from home.
And regardless of the initial chaos, people have learned to cope with this new situation – having meetings and team events over video communication tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, finding structure in the makeshift home offices and, taking advantage of the newfound time otherwise spent on commuting.
Also, teams are figuring out how to collaborate at a distance, and leaders are improving their ability to manage based on outcomes and objectives rather than presence.
More than that, companies are automating some of the processes that would normally require human presence like moving files from desk to desk and running some analysis.
Companies are now willing to have their mundane processes automated so that the business process can continue even with the lockdown.
Therefore, regardless of whether businesses have given any serious thought about shifting to a more flexible work environment up until now, this world crisis will have put it higher up in their agenda at least.
Look at it this way. One of the biggest reasons why companies have been reluctant, and shareholders have questioned whether this is the best option to have a flexible work structure, has been the fear of the unknown.
With COVID-19 pushing companies to temporarily convert into remote-first companies, building programs that ensure that the need for physical presence is minimal for systems to run, and managers seeing that the work continues, it might be easier for everyone to see the benefits it could have in the long run.
Thus, as a business owner, instead of solely focusing on the near-term survival plan (which undoubtedly is the number one priority), it’s time to turn our heads towards the future.
You should start thinking about how this costly trial run could be turned into a positive push towards a more efficient way of working.
Ultimately, there are several possible future scenarios, and it all depends on how businesses and employees, respond to COVID-19 and its aftermath.
A year from now, we might actually find out that while COVID-19 did put us all through a tough test that had a significant impact on our lives, it might have accelerated the changes we once thought would unfold over the years.
Question for you: How are you preparing for the future? Are you building the skills of the future?
Some jobs will become obsolete afterward and better ways to implement will be introduced and adapted.
Quick question: Are you positioning yourself well enough to be able to handle these new challenges post-COVID?
Now is a good time to up-skill. Do something that keeps your business offering relevant not just for when work resumes but for when the new reality begins to roll out on a permanent note.
Remember to stay safe and healthy and play your role in defeating the virus by adhering to the instructions given by the World Health Organization and the NCDC.