As the world has turned upside down and been thrown into unprecedented waters due to COVID-19, there is one thing that has kept us going. Thanks to technology and modern ways of working, many people have been able to carry on doing their jobs as usual. Luckily we have also been able to continue to communicate and see loved ones through the medium of the internet and video chats. As well as being able to work from home, a spotlight has shone on employee health. While many people were sceptical and uneasy about the modern ways of working before this pandemic, it is probably the most significant thing that has helped to keep a sense of normality when everything else is beyond our control. As we look to the future, it seems apparent that the new normal will see an increase in the uptake of these modern ways of working.
Twitter’s Chief executive officer Jack Dorsey announced in an email last week that the company will allow its employees to work from home “forever” and in a blog post, the company said: “The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.” The company is also giving employees increased allowances to buy home office supplies, including desks and desk chairs.
Companies across the tech industry are deciding how they can manage their offices in the coming months. Google and Facebook have extended their work-from-home policies into 2021. Amazon has extended its work-from-home policy until at least early October.
Over recent years people have somewhat become used to video Conferencing for meetings, and now even more people are conducting their meetings this way and doing so efficiently. It may well become the new norm in the future. Also, people have increasingly wanted the option to work remotely and run their business from a virtual office. They could be in a co-working space, at home or working from a cafe – whatever they feel like on the day. Some people are far more proactive this way or they need to be at home due to childcare. Now that we have proved that this way of working can be done, as Twitter has said, this may be the way companies go in the future.
More and more workers today want flexible hours, and due to the lockdown and working from home, this has been possible. Since the lockdown, not everyone has to stick to the 9-5 business day, and many people are now working their own hours. As long as they are available for meetings and get there work done then it doesn’t matter when they do their work as long as they do it.
Working remotely or from home has its benefits on the environment too as there will be far fewer commuters and therefore far fewer cars on the road. It also means that in the future, rather than people jumping on a long-haul flight just for a meeting or a conference, they will be more inclined to join online. This will keep the spread of diseases and carbon footprints low.