When the Covid19 crisis broke out, the bigger question was whether it was logically feasible for so many people to work from home. In some cases, such as catering, companies are hard hit when they discover that there is no ideal solution. In other areas, the nature of work does not require personal work. Leaders find that they can allow some or all of their employees to work remotely and still make incredible profits. However, now that this country is opening up, American businesses must consider what the future will look like in the short and long term after reopening. One of the most important questions is how to ensure that your offices are prepared for the new digital reality and goals.
1. Carefully Evaluate Employee Preferences
Although 68% of employees want to adopt a mixed workplace model after the pandemic is over, there is a disconnect between this preference and the needs of many business leaders. At the same time, 70% of the CEOs interviewed stated that they plan to bring employees back to the office, and some professionals claim that because the company has a lot of power over the team, things will go back to the way they were before.
To ensure that your plan meets the requirements of your team, find a workable compromise: Avoid tensions that may deteriorate your culture, have important but difficult conversations with the team, and conduct surveys to find that most people like to do what. Consider whether there is a real or financial burden for your remote workers to stay home. If staying home benefits your employees‘ physical or mental health, or their overall productivity, consider allowing them to maintain their current environment. Most companies are vague about their plans or have not discussed them at all.
Additionally, companies that violated what they told their employees have seen strong opposition, because violating promises would undermine trust and create challenges for employees (for example, having to choose between work and a home they want to buy in a different location). Regardless of the employee’s preferences, communication of your intentions must be clear. If you have promised your employees what you will allow them to do, please follow through.
2. Consumer Behavior Review
During the pandemic, consumers completely changed their behavior, promoted e–commerce, and adapted contactless collection and payment options. As McKinsey & Company has noted, this has changed many of its long–term expectations, and the company must take this change into account in the way it operates and the products it offers. But the consumer and his team are interconnected. When your employees are happy to agree with your vision, they will work better and provide better service, so customers will be satisfied too. This is a simple cycle that continues with good business practices.
Additionally, companies that identify emerging opportunities and provide great empathy in times of change are often the most successful in responding to change. Therefore, you need to consider whether your telecommuters will meet the new needs of consumers in the post–pandemic world and whether they can continue to be strong advocates for the brand you need to stay away from. Many businesses may find that, at the very least, they need to continue investing in their existing digital workforce to serve consumers who spend more time online. Indicators can tell you how many workers need to face–to–face with your buyers, where they are more dependent on technology, or where workers can switch to different tasks.
3. Utilize emerging and mature technologies
Before Covid19, the company used an incredible amount of technology to maintain productivity and contact. But the pandemic has upgraded these technologies and helped leaders understand their importance. For example, platforms like Zoom went from useful to important almost overnight because they solved new problems while providing the face–to–face team needed. As more and more people work from home, a McKinsey survey found that during the virus crisis, 93% of companies experienced an increase in remote work.
Among the 93% of respondents, 54% said they believe these changes will continue. Because leaders see remote work as a long–term change, they have made long-term investments in it. With this kind of financial support and attitude change, the use of these existing technologies will only become more standardized over time. Developers and engineers may also introduce a wave of new digital options, hoping to make more significant innovations for the remote working environment in a highly customized way. It makes sense to recognize this trend and at least explore the possibility of modernizing the systems and practices currently used by your company.
As the pandemic may be under control and we are moving towards reopening, companies can choose how to proceed. However, the way people live and work during the crisis will continue to affect the way we live and work in the years to come. A new positive mindset is emerging, that is, you can use cutting–edge technology to better serve customers and create a happier decentralized workforce. Adapting to this new way of thinking will keep you ahead, but remember that every company is different and there is no one–size–fits–all solution. To develop a post–pandemic plan that truly leads to success, assess your own situation and goals. The digital office will continue to exist and provide incredible power to all walks of life, but how you shape it is entirely up to you.
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