There are big changes coming to the future of work.
Here’s what you need to know - and how it will affect you.
Future Of Work
For the past few months, you’ve worked at home, done countless Zoom calls, juggled home schooling, and have tried to maintain composure in the face of uncertainty. How will your job change in the future? Some changes may be temporary until there is a Coronavirus vaccine, while other changes may become permanent. Here are some ways that your job may change due to COVID-19:
1. Get used to working from home
This won’t apply to every job, but it turns out many people can actually work from home productively. Plus, the majority of employed Americans who have been working from home would prefer to continue a work-from-home policy. According to Gallup, approximately 60% of Americans workers prefer to work remotely as much as possible, even when public health restrictions are lifted. If more employees work from home, there is increasing potential to disrupt the commercial real estate market. As more employees work from home, there is less overall need to own or rent office space. Watch for the impact on supply and demand in commercial real estate.
2. Get used to being monitored by your employer
If more employees work from home, employers may increase monitoring of their employees. That means your productivity could be measured and tracked, even if you’re working outside a traditional office environment. Many companies already do this, but now it would take place in your home. For example, your employer could track your keystrokes on your computer to analyze your productivity, or understand how often you are away from your computer. While there are evident privacy concerns, this is not a spy novel. Companies argue that responsible monitoring is necessary to ensure productivity.
3. Your office is not completely disappearing
The entire world won’t work from home. Offices will still exist. However, they may look different. Big trading floors or other open floor plans may be replaced in some cases by cubicles or other partitions for health reasons. How will social distancing be maintained at work? These may be temporary changes until there’s a Coronavirus vaccine, or employers may find that this new normal layout may continue so long as it doesn’t hinder productivity, jeopardize health or adversely affect employee morale.
4. More video calls and fewer in-person meetings
What will happen to all those standing-room-only, in-person meetings in conference rooms? Video conference calls have become more popular than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. This could continue even after a Coronavirus vaccine. If you work in any sales-oriented job, in-person contact may be essential to your business. However, from a public health perspective, frequent business travel may be replaced by more video conference calls. It may not happen in every industry, but companies will want to protect employees and clients alike in a post-COVID world. This doesn’t mean business travel is going away (it’s not), but companies may limit travel. This has direct implications for the airline and hospitality industries, at least in the short-term.
5. Happiness at work matters
Your happiness at work matters. There are many lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. As more than 30 million people have lost their job due to COVID-19, many people will start to think critically about their job, where they work, their health and other financial realities in the wake of Coronavirus. As more people work from home, your work life and personal life will become more connected. This has important implications for your happiness. No longer can you think of your “work life” and “personal life” as separate. Your happiness at home and at work both need to be present. If you’re happy at home and miserable at work, that formula won’t work. One silver lining is this may be your wake-up call to go find more meaningful work in which you feel more inspired and can create impact.
Business will go on. Life will continue. It just may look different than before. Will all these changes happen at once? Maybe. It depends on your employer, industry, job type and other financial and non-financial factors. Will these changes become permanent? It’s too soon to tell. Employers may test the waters, monitor the public health situation and collect employee feedback. One thing is certain in this uncertain time: changes to the future of work are coming.