If there’s one positive to come out of this pandemic it’s the fact that many companies will be looking to embrace a remote culture. When I think about life post-Covid19, I believe there’s a great opportunity for both the individual and businesses to leapfrog that next step of evolution with technology.
It took a pandemic to prove to us that the fear about tech being impersonal has been wrong and that a camera peering into your living room is actually much more personal than the formality of sitting around a table in a boardroom.
We’ve now got a greater chance to connect with people on a more global scale and a greater chance to be more authentic; if we see a colleague’s child or dog running across the back of a screen, then that’s a good thing – it works to bring us closer to people.
What does normal need to look like now?
Businesses and customers are starting to say, “We don’t need these head offices and rooms filled with furniture because we’re finding that engagement is generally on the rise with people working from home.”
According to a 2019 survey by Airtasker, working from home is beneficial for employees for several reasons. Not only does it increase productivity, but it eliminates their daily commutes, and leads to healthier lifestyles.
On average, remote employees are working 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year, than those who worked in an office. (And on those work days, they spent more time getting things done).
One of the things people are understanding is that going into the office usually involves a 9-5 regime. But people are powering away and concentrating on their outputs, rather than where they are working and where they are seen to be working. And if that means that people are getting to their work early in the morning, in the evening – or a bit of both –then that’s fine.
The power of remote work
People are finding that they’re more focused and more balanced because they’re getting time to do other things they’re also passionate about – exercise, painting, writing a book or another side hustle. So, it’s really an opportunity for a business that’s always been interested in increasing engagement and productivity to actually make the move towards more remote work.
We all knew, deep down, that it’s not about the hours you’re in the office, it’s about the outcomes you achieve.
I’m sure companies will keep focusing on outcomes through remote working and it will mean there’ll be less activity in CBDs, which will be a great opportunity for regional hubs to exist.
Post-pandemic, life will also allow us to look at where we live based on the lifestyle we want to be close to and not based on a decision to live near the office.
Who doesn’t want to live in a more community- based environment?
Most of us have already made up our minds that life will be very different when things “get back to normal.” And we’ll see how crazy our life was prior to the pandemic. When businesses are recruiting, they’ll focus on the best person for the job, whether they’re in Australia or South America, rather than targeting a person who can work from the office.
It’s clear that technology removes the need for us to pigeon hole talent and only hire people who live locally.
There’ll also be some cases where people emerge from the pandemic and realize that their job isn’t their passion anymore and they want to retrain. That’s another reason why this pandemic will be an opportunity to focus on doing work that we enjoy, that we’re able to live where we wish to, connect globally with a group of talent around a project and live a more full and balanced life.
I believe 2020 has opened up a huge opportunity for organizations to reposition their view on what a workforce looks like in the short, medium and long term. If it’s a mature business, there is scope to transform. And, for start-ups, there’s simply no need to have a little office in the city.
It was just 18 months ago when everything revolved around Skype meetings – now it’s all Zoom meetings and, before long, there’ll be some more exciting new platforms.
I predict we’ll see some amazing new unicorns filling the gaps in this new post-pandemic business world, which ultimately, is adapting to society and shifting the way we do things in both the near and distant future.