For decades, even centuries, companies and organizations have described an ideal worker as one who is completely devoted to their job and is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. This was always an unrealistic expectation and the COVID-19 has just shown the world how unrealistic it is. The COVID-19 has shoved work and home lives under the same roof and some of us have managed to sort it out successfully while the rest are still struggling to manage it all. According to a global survey by Blind, 62% of professionals surveyed revealed that they were not able to separate work from home life effectively.
As experts predict that this pandemic may forever change the nature of work and work culture, how actually will the office and work-life balance be post-COVID-19?
Work process and culture is evolving
Currently, organizations around the world are necessarily adapting to ensure business continuity. Most companies are simply transplanting existing processes to remote work contexts. But this is further evolving into a process where organizations are identifying the most important processes for each major business, geography, and function, and envisioning them completely. Organizations are also trying to reflect their values and culture on the interactions, practices, and rituals that promote good work culture. Thus, reimagining and reconstructing processes and practices will serve as a foundation of an improved and evolved operating model that organizations would follow in the post-pandemic world.
Companies are more open and flexible to employees
According to the latest Pulse Survey by Aon, the COVID-19 has reportedly improved the professional relationship between employees and the employer, and employer support in these times has grown rapidly. The Survey results show that 76% of companies are now providing scheduling flexibility to employees with children, 36% are allowing employees to use sick leave to care for children over and above the existing legal requirements, and 74% of the companies have enhanced their employee assistance programs to put the various aspects of employee well-being front. This scenario is presumed to continue post-COVID-19 as well.
Employees become more productive
For many, the freedom of working from home during COVID-19 has been eye-opening. It has allowed people to tweak their life a little according to their joy. They can start early and finish up early or start late and finish up late, take a longer lunch break, hang out more with their toddlers. You can’t underestimate how highly these simple flexibilities score in terms of employee satisfaction. Surprisingly, this has resulted in more productivity than ever before and employees are making use of their time efficiently.
Redesigned workplaces to support organizational priorities
Although offices have changed in some ways during the past decade, post-COVID-19, they may need to be entirely rethought and transformed to support the new normal. The traditional workplace design that is a mixture of private offices, cubicles, meeting rooms, shared amenities would no longer be the same in the post-COVID era. Organizations could create workspaces specifically designed to support the kinds of interactions that cannot happen remotely. Organizations will also need to manage which employees can come to the office when they can enter and take their places, etc while maintaining productivity, collaboration, and preserving the corporate culture. These changes may not only improve how work is done but also may lead to considerable cost savings for the company.
The nature of work is changing and no matter how work-life impacts personal life or personal life impacts work-life, organizations and companies need to address all the issues and find a more healthy and productive manner to balance the working environment, professional life, and personal life. It is not just making the necessary adjustment at home to accommodate work like implementing digital workplace planning, but also improving the whole experience as they are working from home. So, as employees are dealing with work from home and experimenting to return to offices, the leadership must act now to ensure safety and productivity when they return to the office.