4 Predictions For the Future of Work After COVID-19

Posted on July 13, 2020
by Anna

Because of COVID-19, many businesses have continued to stay closed, stay at home orders have been extended, and economic unease is also relentless. Over the past few months, we’ve seen shifts in companies as many begin to work from home due as we all adjust to a different way of life during COVID-19. Some people have never worked from home before which presents a unique learning curve. There are new and different challenges to work-life when working from home, including distractions.

There have been both pros and cons in adjusting to the way the pandemic is impacting our world. But one thing is for certain: The future of work will never be the same.


This pandemic is an event that hasn’t been seen for over 100 years and it was, of course, difficult for businesses and individuals to be prepared for it. Businesses that were able to pivot and quickly adapt their services to being exclusively online were in a much better position throughout this whole pandemic. There are a number of other ways that these times will impact the future. Here are four ways we predict professional work is set to change moving forward.


1. Communication will change


It’s hard for people to shift from regular working hours and working within an office environment together, to working at home. Communication over Slack, Zoom, phone calls, etc. is different from being face to face. Working from home may also mean you organize your day differently. It’s often easier to know what’s happening within your team when you are in the same physical environment. When you work remotely, you’re isolated from that information.


Team alignment is going to become an even more pressing focus for companies moving forward. In an office environment, it’s easier to seem connected to each other because you’re all simply together in the same location. As soon as you add the remote element into the mix, you realize how much more intentional you need to be in order to keep everyone up to speed on what you’re accomplishing in your role.


Email use is on a steady decline for teams, email takes a ton of time. When someone sees an email, they tend to think of it as a to-do and wait to get to it until later – whereas a Slack message, or an invitation to a video call, prompts much faster, more efficient conversation.


This is a trend that has been increasing for a while now, but with millions of workers trying to do their jobs from home, we are going to see adoption of faster, more efficient tools at a record pace. For context, it took Slack almost 5 years (2015 to 2020) to go from 1 million to 10 million users. And in a matter of weeks in March 2020, Slack added 2.5 million users – and is still growing rapidly.


Even when businesses shift to returning to the office, it’s important to know how to use remote tools, such as Slack and Zoom while in office, so the infrastructure is already there should people need to transition into remote working.


Tools, best practices, and team habits that nurture team alignment are going to be front and center in the years to come. The key is to be focused and organized as much as you can, and know and communicate your limits effectively.


2. Software tools that cater to both remote and in-office employees will become essential


For some companies, working in an office may no longer be a requirement. Some, of course, will still prefer a physical office to work from home. But all in all, the coronavirus pandemic has shown us that a remote workplace isn’t only absolutely possible, but actually tremendously beneficial in some cases.


Having more of your workforce remote means fewer expenses and office space. Remote work means more flexibility for team members all across the organization.


Remote work means creating an even playing field for employees in different locations, and even countries. Tools that can assist companies in seamlessly integrating everyone together are going to be a high priority. Many already are. Overnight, tools like Zoom and Slack became essential for almost everyone. Collaboration may be more difficult when working remotely, but tools like Google Suite and Jira make working together more seamless. Project management tools such as Trello and Asana also make tasks easier to manage, delegate, and work together on.


3. Companies will seek to provide emotionally-supportive benefits to employees.


Feeling isolated is one of the biggest challenges of working remotely. In the past, this issue wasn’t really addressed for employers that had remote employees, either part of the time or all the time. Most likely, it’s because not enough people had ever experienced being on the other side of the fence, feeling that same isolation themselves and looking for ways to solve it.


The pandemic has caused us all to feel even more isolated not only due to working remotely but also due to things like stay at home orders and closings of various social gathering places. Now that we’ve all experienced working from home, and we’ve all felt feelings of isolation, social distancing, a reliance on video calls for social interaction, etc., many companies will come up with innovative ways of engaging their distributed workforce, ensuring that no employee feels detached from the rest of the team.


4. Being Adaptable and a Self Starter Will Become Even More Important


Working remotely means you have to be self-motivated. There isn’t anyone around to see how productive you’re being during the day so it’s really up to you to focus on the tasks you need to complete. Being adaptable and comfortable with discomfort is also important. Look for new ways to excel in your role. By working past discomfort, you show to your team that you are resilient and appreciate the chance to grow.


Being proactive and finding solutions also makes you irreplaceable as an employee. If you’re constantly setting goals for yourself that align with your company’s ambitions, you’re going to be successful at your job.


Thinking outside of the box and proposing new ideas will also make you invaluable at your job. Employees who take initiative and implement new practices will go a long way in the professional world.


However, this doesn’t just apply to individual employees but also to companies as a whole. Those who can be self-starters and pivot in the face of adversity and change will be the ones to win at the other side of this (or any) pandemic. Fitness studios offering online classes, restaurants offering delivery of not just their food but of groceries too, and finding new and exciting ways to monetize your business in ways outside of what you can do at a physical location are all examples of ways that we’ve seen that keep businesses not only afloat but also thriving.


The world is undoubtedly changing forever before our very eyes. These are just a few examples of how the future of work will never be the same again. The pandemic will undoubtedly change our future but rest assured, humans will always be adaptable and ready to find the best ways to succeed on the other side. Interested in reading more about professional development and how to succeed in the professional world? Check out more on the Meratas blog!


This post was prepared by the author, in her/his personal capacity. The views expressed are her/his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Meratas Inc.
The information contained in this site is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, financial or other professional advice. In all cases, you should consult with professional advisors familiar with your particular situation prior to making any important decisions. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of this content. Meratas Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials. Copyright 2021

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