COVID-19 has affected the economy, mental health, education, small businesses, sports, entertainment, healthcare, family dynamics – even the environment. The CDC has reported over 29 million cases to date in the United States alone with deaths exceeding 500,000. Although the long-term effects remain to be seen, it’s clear that one of the most dramatic effects is the way the virus has reshaped how and where we work. For the first time, the physical dimension of work has been elevated and morphed into what feels like an entirely new normal. As this new normal evolves, many business leaders will have to change some old ways of thinking and evolve workplace flexibility post pandemic to retain employees and stay competitive in their markets.
READY OR NOT – TIME TO MODERNIZE
There has been a significant shift in the large segment oft he workforce as an estimated 70% of workers are now doing their jobs from home either all or most of the time. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has driven companies to abruptly and permanently redefine how and where work can be accomplished. This pandemic has accelerated virtual work for many industries and has forced others to catch up.
Business leaders have been challenged to swiftly provide high-performing services to their customers and workforce. IT teams have either worked -- or are working -- hard and fast to stand up and maintain remote IT infrastructures to avoid service disruptions. Technology and theCloud must rise to the occasion to enable a portable work environment, so employees and students alike can remain productive.
Plans for a modernized infrastructure, security, automation,digital transformation and even just assuring business as normal haver apidly moved to the front of the line in terms of business initiatives.Centralized remote control and management, proper handling of mission-critical workloads moved from back-burner issues to center-stage emergencies what seemed like overnight.
THE POST-CORONAVIRUS FUTURE
Just as businesses have been forced to move swiftly to enable a remote workforce, millions of workers and students have rapidly adjusted to working from home as offices closed. Employees have been challenged to find ways to home-school their children and fulfill their job duties at the same time. Things like grocery shopping and “going” to doctor appointments are all now done virtually by many. With restrictions and mandates around social distancing, virtual workplace interactions are as close as some people come to socializing at all.
Analysts are now making strides to examine the post-pandemic economy as well as the pandemic’s long-term influence on society as-a-whole. It is clear the pandemic has pushed companies and consumers to adopt new behaviors that are likely to stick, changing the trajectory of remote work.
Flexibility has evolved from a desirable perk into a powerful people practice that is believed to endure well after COVID-19 has come and gone. Sustaining this level of flexibility at scale will require transformation of people, processes, and infrastructure for a completely redefined “workplace”.
Looking for more tips on how to get your business ready for the new normal? Download GCSIT's check list "5 IT Considerations for Remote Work After COVID-10".