What does a Post-COVID-19 Workforce Look Like?

The Coronavirus pandemic has challenged us all to look at employment and the traditional working environment differently. The way we work has changed and it isn’t likely we will revert to “normal”. This has opened up new ways of working and succeeding in business, as well as shown areas for improvement. Below we’re looking at key work trends which will become more and more important across many different businesses as we move towards a post-Coronavirus world.

Increased Remote Working

Working remotely has become a much more common occurrence since COVID-19 and it is still recommended you work from home if you can. Businesses have had to adapt to this but many have found their employees benefit from the flexibility of working from home. As we shift to remote work becoming more normal businesses need to look at changing their processes to support this from cybersecurity protocol to employee experience strategies. Employers may need to take a new approach to goal setting and performance measurement.

Contingency Employee and Freelance Expansion

Many people have lost their jobs due to the economic uncertainty of a global pandemic. This means many highly skilled people are looking for work or at least short-term contracts to keep them afloat. Employers need to be more flexible in their recruitment and workforce management as the impact of COVID-19 can be felt at any time, with employees needing to self-isolate or follow other pandemic-related government guidance. Contingent workers and the use of freelancers may see a serious lift in the new world of work.

More Complex Organisations

As people’s contracts change, contingency workers are in place and some services are outsourced or carried out on a contract-by-contract basis, the traditional organisation of the workplace changes. Leaders and decision makers need to adapt to this organisational change and develop operation models accordingly. As an organisation becomes more complex, more controls are needed to ensure success.

Additional Data Collection

More and more data about employees will be held as they need to provide more proof of work and evidence of clocking in and out and similar practices unnecessary in a face-to-face work environment. Some businesses may also use tracking systems to ensure work is taking place and employee email and communication monitoring. This can help to monitor productivity but also ensure employees aren’t experiencing any issues you can’t spot as they’re not in the same space as you.

More Socially Aware and Responsible Employers

The pandemic has shown us the importance of human kindness in a way many of us hadn’t considered before. This has led to employers becoming more proactive in supporting their employees in all aspects of their life. This could mean extended sic leave, support for child care or adjusted flexibility in working hours. Being more responsive to employee’s needs can result in better performance and a happier work environment.

Resilient Business Models Succeed

Efficiency has traditionally been one of the most lauded features of a successful business model, with agile and efficient-focused business methods praised as the most effective. However, recent events mean resilience has become a highly valuable tool to have in any company’s skillset. Organisations designed with resilience in mind were able to respond more quickly and effectively to new challenges. Roles and structures in a resilient business are designed around being responsive and flexible with scope for movement in the event of change. Cross-training is a key requirement of resilient business practices.

We cannot truly see how the future of the working world is going to look, but we can work on the assumption that significant changes imposed by the global pandemic will continue to have an influence. Being ready to adapt to these changes is vital for success at work and in business.