What Coronavirus Means for the Future of Work From Home
May 11, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has essentially changed the way the world works. What remains to be seen is whether some of these changes will become permanent. However, we do know that the effects that the pandemic has had on remote work culture will last.
In this article, I'll be going over the different changes that the pandemic has had on working from home, and what these changes mean for the future.
First off, we must know that the pandemic has inspired an urgent and sudden change in the enterprises. 88% of corporations in the US now mandate that workers work from home, regardless of whether they have shown symptoms of coronavirus or not. While many corporations already had work from home systems, the pandemic has essentially become a tipping point. These systems had to scale everyone from the ground up. Of course, this sudden scaling up has come with its own challenges.
However, it has also come with new discoveries. For example, companies that are able to streamline work activities into a work from home system, and are still able to maintain a great level of productivity, will start to think of how working from home can save overhead costs. If these companies are able to successfully pull this off (which is likely because of advancement in communication technology), then the future will see a lot of remote workers.
These remote workers won't be domiciled in the field of tech as they always have been but will be spread across different sectors like banking, manufacturing and even healthcare.
Here are the five most important ways that the future of work is changing.
A Flexible Future
What we know is that if companies can maintain a high level of productivity, they will begin to see the merits of working from home. One of the biggest aspects of working from home is flexibility, and it's hard to see that companies won't retain at least that element when things return to normalcy. While companies may not always retain the remote work structure, they will almost certainly adopt flexible policies that allow workers to work from anywhere. This way, even when a next pandemic arises, it will be easy to make a shift.
Development Of An Agile Work Structure
With teams becoming more separate as a result of remote work, it's not inconceivable for collaborations across the department to start to rise. Rigid command chains will become abandoned, and firms will have to go with structures that are truly efficient. It's possible that project managers that can scale operations across multiple departments will become more important in a post-pandemic world.
The Rise Of A Sustainable Culture
Remote work removes the mental and physical stress going to offices. However, that isn't the only thing that it removes. Most traffic jams are caused by people rushing to offices, and if a significant number of those workers start working from home, it means less average commute time. Of course, less time spent in cars means fewer greenhouse emissions and less demand for natural gas consumption. This will definitely have a good effect on research for sustainable power sources. It will also help clean up the environment.
Difference generations generally appreciate different elements of the remote work lifestyle. While people from the Gen X generation may generally value job security, Gen Z workers generally value flexibility more.
The new generation of workers will be more likely to ask for the option of remote work when choosing employees, as that will offer them more stability.
The Prioritization Of A Work-Life Balance
Working from home means that you don't have to spend hours on end separated from family. For many people, this is important, and when they discover that this is possible, they may not want to go back to the regular office setting. In the future, work-life balance will become increasingly important to employees, and that increase in demand will most likely lead to a paradigm shift on how work can be done.
Tips For Working From Home
If you're working from home, you cannot possibly overestimate the need for a workstation. Sitting up on your bed, or working from the couch will make you extremely prone to distractions.
That's why I always advice remote workers to set up a workstation, preferably using a standing desk like the Electric Height Adjustable Desk from Flexispot. It will allow you to work while standing, and that will reduce the chances of you getting backaches from sitting in one position for too long. Importantly, it has a keyboard feature that can save your favourite seating and standing positions. I've found it to be the best companion for a great work from home experience.