There are only a few weeks left in 2020, and a new year is bound to bring more challenges, innovations, and opportunities.
As most of us know, the last 10 months have been tumultuous and full of uncertainties for industries around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic, which is still ravaging many countries, has caused massive disruption in the global economy. In order to stay afloat, most companies and workplaces will have to adapt to the “new normal.”
Historically, when something significant happens around the world, such as a globe-spanning pandemic or a major crisis, there are bound to be drastic changes in different aspects of society. For instance, the September 11 attacks in the United States led to drastic changes in airport security and how much of the industry operates. In the span of 20 years, the airline industry has also made significant changes to how it operates, especially when it has been losing billions of dollars in the last ten months during the pandemic.
So how do we manage the workplace in the “new normal?” What can we do to mitigate any risk that the pandemic might have on employers and employees? We’ll be answering some much-needed questions and introducing strategies that might help office workers, as well as the business, in increasing their productivity even in these tumultuous times.
Here’s what you’ll need to know.
New Innovations, New Horizons
Again, much of history would tell us that a major global event will usually lead to an uptick in innovations and technological advancements. One of the silver linings to the “new normal” is that most companies can use the “downtime” to experiment with better equipment, strategies, and products. After all, gaining an edge over your competitors will attract potential clients and investors.
But what about “old” and obsolete equipment in offices that might not be able to make the transition? No worries; much of the new systems and applications developed for workplaces in the new normal will still be compatible with current devices.
Still, employers and business owners will need to significantly upgrade their systems to have a fighting edge over their competitors. Fortunately, with the help of legacy system modernization, it’s easier for employers to transition towards newer systems.
Filling Up the Workforce
With the pandemic causing an economic recession, many companies and businesses had to cut down on their monthly expenditure. While this might mean having to make sacrifices in terms of raw materials, energy, and completely revamping how operations are being done, the one efficient way of achieving business continuity was laying off workers and closing down branches.
It was a hard pill to swallow for many companies, but a necessary one to survive.
With the recent news of companies rolling out a vaccine for COVID-19 in the coming weeks, confidence in bouncing back from the pandemic has surged. But now that most businesses and industries are re-opening, employers will need to bring back more employees into the fold.
However, this is easier said than done, with many employers who would have lost profitability in the last few months and still couldn’t afford to hire back people.
Employer-employee relations also need to improve. Experts in the social fields have encouraged companies to start looking at their employees with a more “equal” and compassionate perspective—treating others the way they want to be treated can improve the company’s standing opinion from the workforce’s perspective. Having a system based on meritocracy can also improve productivity while increasing employee retainment.
Managing Interaction Risks
Another business aspect that employers should be aware of is how people would be interacting in the office during the new normal. Without clear plans about the vaccine, health risks remain and so a formerly thriving workplace will just not do. Thus, protocols must be in place, including regular disinfection, social distancing, and wearing masks.
Some staff can be permitted to work from home or in a remote location, like a co-workings pace.
There have also been cases of employees of Asian descent being harassed in the workplace due to the origins of COVID-19; such practices should never be tolerated in any given situation. Employers must make sure that harassment and racism will have no place in the workplace.
The new normal will set new standards in the workplace. As the world is on the verge of recovering from a global health crisis, industries and businesses will start vying for control in their respective fields.
Thus, incorporating new policies can give you an advantage over businesses that might choose the traditional way of conducting their business.