I have been researching and producing writings on the disruptions that have taken place in our working, learning and communication spaces in the last ten years.
In my article, I have acknowledged the role of human beings, the gig economy, robots and even the disruptive sap business bydesign in The New Blended Workforce. I have envisioned the new work environment with a high number of full-time workers executing tasks side-by-side with gig workers, bots or digital assistants.
The speed of change in the workplace has never been this fast, but then again, moving forward, this is the slowest it will ever be!
However, I could not foresee that we would have to completely work from our homes while also balancing homeschooling and coming up with creative ways to hold Zoom meetings at the same time. Zoom meetings have become popular and have increased in demand. We are often finding ourselves needing one for our work meeting, another for our meeting with our spouse or partner, and another one to help our child who is learning at home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the speed of one of the biggest workplace transformations of our times. The outbreak of the pandemic has altered how we work, exercise, shop, learn and communicate. It has forever changed where we work.
The first time we used the term VUCA (VUCA meaning volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) to describe the times we live in was during the Army War College of 1987.
It only took the Corona Virus to spread for a few weeks before almost all of our restaurants, bars, shops, gyms and other social places were closed down. Additionally, we had to come up with ways to encourage or make it mandatory for 88% of the workers to work from home.
The restrictions to work from home had to be implemented regardless of whether one was exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus or not (according to Gartner). The pandemic also triggered hiring freezes. For instance, a historic high of 3.3 million American workers have sought for their employment benefits during the coronavirus period.
However, the big question still persists: how will the great transformation affect the workplace, you, your work team and your organization? A recent survey by Future Workplace called “The Impact of the Coronavirus in the Workplace” was carried out among 350 HR leaders in the US in an attempt to find the right answer to this big question.
Gladly, I will share some of the insights on how this new normal in the workplace environment is evolving in the different organizations across the country.
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Below we present to you the findings of the survey and other important deliberations like the main ways we expect the implications of COVID-19 coronavirus to increase changes in work initiatives for the remainder of 2020.
1) Ramp up Training and Investment in Remote Working
Many companies all over the world are having to battle with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic by requiring or encouraging employees to work from home. Also, as the coronavirus spreads the more that more workers are having to work from home.
Some of the comments we are hearing are: “This is the first day of working from home and home schooling our kids… I am not even a teacher by profession but I now think it’s time teachers are paid like CEOs!”
The question is, what are companies doing to adjust and prepare themselves for the biggest work-from-home experiments ever? To answer this question, our survey evaluated different ways companies have developed to deal with remote working. One way includes training exercises.
Our Future Workplace survey titled “The Impact of the Coronavirus in the Workplace” asked correspondents the question “In what ways does your company train its employees to effectively work from home?”
The responses we received from our correspondents included provision of both worker and manager training, mentorship and coaching programs and launching Employee Resource Groups aimed at remote worker and their families.
2) The Future of Work Is the Future of Worker Wellbeing
My article titled “Top Ten HR Trends That Matter Most in the 2020 Workplace” published on Forbes, talks about how companies focused on the future of work are consumed by imminent jobs disruptions, automation processes and changing demographics of the workforce. These are all important considerations, however, we need to maintain worker welfare as the priority!
In today’s world, the future of a worker’s wellbeing has the greatest impact on the future of the work itself. During the current times of the digital economy where we are “always on” for work, the most important thing is assisting the wellbeing of the worker by helping them manage work-life balance and the stress that have come along with dealing with coronavirus.