What will the new normal look like?
Nothing lasts forever, in life and in business. We are always evolving. In technology, in leadership, in media, in trends. And in the case of the COVID-19 outbreak, how organisations work has evolved dramatically as thousands of employees have been sent home to work away from the office and their colleagues with varying degrees of success.
Many companies will have had some kind of remote working before the outbreak, perhaps one day a week on a Friday or in times of tight deadlines when concentration and solitude are necessary. However, now we are all being forced to work remotely as much as possible to prevent the spread to the virus.
Despite initial and understandable teething troubles, large amounts of training on new systems, losing the social interactions in the office and having to juggle other home commitments, at least for those who have been a part of the RingCentral Remote Working Digital Boardroom series up to this point, the general consensus is that the new format is working well for most employees are productivity has remain high or even improved.
Therefore, the question on many people’s minds is: after however long it takes to return to ‘normal’, what will the ‘new normal’ look like? Different governments will have different timelines for lifting certain restrictions and so for some it may take longer than others to reopen their doors. And when they do, how will company policies on work routines be affected?
Understandably, most employees will be happy to see their colleagues and friends again, get back into routine and enjoy the luxuries that they had in the past. After some time though, once water bills, heating bills and other overheads become a factor once again, and as we start having to get up early for the commute to and from work, will productivity start to fall back to its original level?
Some have argued that they tend to get decisions made quicker when they are able to speak to people in person. Others say that separating the parts of the business and thinking clearly about the steps needed has led to products and projects being completed in weeks rather than months as blockers have been removed.
The rise in video conferencing software has meant that money once saved for travel across the globe can be saved to help organisations survive the coming months while these international meetings can still take place with no fear, jet lag or damage to the environment. And the potential to reduce office space will have many Finance Officers spotting major savings in the long run.
It is not expecting that all employees will all work from home all the time. We are social creatures and the health and wellbeing of employees should always take precedence over everything else. However, finding the right balance of time in the office and time working remotely may be what employees need to be able to work hard and effectively and keep the camaraderie of the office environment.
What are your thoughts on how remote working has affected productivity levels for yourself and your employees? What do you see as being the ‘new normal’? Leave your comments below.
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