The Covid19 pandemic impacted the working world as we knew it. While we are still not completely “out of the woods,” things are beginning to normalize. Let’s look to see what we could expect in the new, post-Covid 19 workplace.
- Assurance of Safety. Employees want to know that their workplace is as safe as possible. And employers will want to configure these workspaces with safety and hygienic materials. This could include air filters, disinfection procedures, and workplace distancing policies. Air handling systems may now allow for removal of viral contaminants. Companies may erect barriers to comply with social distancing. Masks may still be a requirement, even if government regulations change.
- Reduced workspace. Where remote work models worked well during the pandemic, some employers may decide to reduce their workspace. Work hours may be staggered. Employees may have to share desk space. To ensure maximum capacity & efficiency, careful planning of work schedules will have to be implemented.
- Hybrid work models- some employers may elect to continue the remote, “work from home” model, at least for the time being. Others may come up with a hybrid model where workers come into the office a few days a week but work remotely the rest of the time. In the tight labor market that currently exists, employers will want to do all they can to accommodate their employees.
- More space for each employee. This reverses the trend of recent years where allocated space for each employee was on the downward slope. We may see the end of open concept floorplans. Now more than ever, employees want enough space of their own to feel safe.
- Flexible work hours. The pandemic forced organizations to focus on productivity vs presence. With this new mind set, flexible working hours may be seen as a recruiting benefit – particularly for the millennial generation.
- Casual Dress. One of the many benefits that employees enjoyed from the remote work environment was the freedom to dress casually. This could certainly continue with organizations who do not require “face to face” customer interaction.
Sometimes crisis can yield unique opportunities to make things better. Here’s hoping that this pandemic has precipitated positive changes in our workplace…and will continue to do so for years to come.