While some have challenged the necessity of working from home or the practicality of long term remote work, others have enjoyed the break from monotonous office life. Regardless of where you stand — it’s horrible, or it’s great — remote work is likely here to stay for many people. For those who don’t continue to work from home, COVID-19 will cause other shifts in their work life.
As mentioned above, remote work is here to stay for the foreseeable future. However, as states start opening up, many people will likely split their time between working from home and working at the office. When in the office, people will have to social distance, meaning the amount of time you spend collaborating with your coworkers face-to-face will be drastically cut. Most workers will do their meetings via video conference from the comfort of their couches.
Working from home might be desirable for some people, but working in an office has perks, including easier access to managers and fewer distractions that people encounter at home. Instead of worrying about screaming children, chore lists, and needy pets, the office environment provides quieter spaces, especially when many of your coworkers are separated from you.
However, working from home might become the goal situation for some people. Instead of early mornings, long commutes, and bothersome coworkers, remote employees get the freedom to work how and when they want.
Say goodbye to long meetings in the conference room. Most companies will switch to digital meetings over video conferences, instant messaging, or email chains. The benefits of social distancing and staying at home are obvious at this point, and managers will want to continue this practice instead of risking employee health.
The rise of Zoom meetings at the beginning of the pandemic makes sense. Companies need to stay connected with their employees, and digital meetings are an ideal way to keep tabs on progress and know what your employees are doing throughout the day.
You can say goodbye to business travel, especially out of state travel that requires flying. People are safer away from planes, and business travel poses risks, including contracting COVID-19, transmitting the coronavirus, and getting stuck in quarantine in a different state. Business travel is now a luxury few companies can afford going forward.
It’s unlikely that most businesses will continue out of state business travel, so you can expect more local travel to meet the company’s needs versus traveling to another part of the country. If your company can get what they need from a local business, that is the best way to keep everyone safe.
Many companies will jump onboard the medical screening movement. Instead of casually walking into the building at the start of the day, you will now submit to a temperature check and questions about symptoms, who you’ve been in contact with, and where you’ve traveled. You might also be required to wear a mask throughout the day.
Health screenings will likely become the norm at most large companies and corporations. Employees will face new hurdles to get to work to keep their coworkers safe from the virus. It might get burdensome, but it’s in everyone’s best interests. There are already many businesses requiring medical screenings for some employees, like Amazon and Walmart.
While they don’t play a role in how you work, it’s likely facemasks will become fashion statements in the office. Your coworkers will start competing on who has the best designs on their masks and who is wearing what brand. Facemasks might even become distractions as people display their fashion choices during the day.
Even though some of these changes seem daunting or bothersome, they are mostly in your best interest. Staying safe from COVID-19 is essential these days, and companies across the nation are looking for new ways to keep their employees healthy. Expect significant changes to the way you work going forward and plan on these changes to stay for a while. It’s unlikely large corporations will stop health screenings or requiring facemasks any time soon, so it’s beneficial to start wrapping your mind around the new normal now.