Isn’t it amazing how fast and how much a commonly used word such as “normal” can change meaning and our lives? Before the pandemic that not only took so many innocent lives and torn families apart, but also impacted most everyone else’s life to a lesser degree.
COVID-19 challenged the world with social distancing and “stay at home” orders blanketing countries. All of these changes created difficult times for working people due to companies closing their doors temporarily and schools closing until next year. There have been so many changes we have been forced to adapt to in a short amount of time and none of this has been easy for anyone.
People were used to going to a grocery store to buy food for their families, but were no longer able to because their company shut down and they were not receiving a paycheck. These issued caused many to resort to waiting in lines at food banks. During the month of April, there were an estimated 17 million people would face hunger challenges. Food banks had a huge increase in demands causing them to ration foods and possibly face shortages. I do not understand how the United States being one of the world’s wealthiest countries in the world could ever have people go hungry and or homeless.
Even though there has not been much of a decrease in the new cases or fatalities and there is not a vaccine for COVID-19, many states are lifting restrictions and moving closer to reopening. Of course, many people that believe reopening states is a good idea, there are some that have fear with these plans.
Many people have accepted the new normal when leaving their homes to be armed with gloves and mask. Some people have been fortunate enough to keep their jobs have the option to work from home. Unfortunately, other people were not given the opportunity to work from home so they could still be earning a living.
As many people will be heading back to what was once normal working conditions, experts have made a few predictions on the ways COVID-19 has already transformed the way we work, potentially until the day we retire.
- Some people will not return to an office
Options for working from home began to increase significantly between 2005 and 2017, long before we knew anything about COVID-19. During the time frame of 2005 and 2017, the United States saw a 159% increase in remote working. Individuals were proving their capabilities to work from home and continue to be productive. While we went through the pandemic and companies began having their employees work from home, no one wants to return to their typical work environments when the pandemic finally come to an end.
Until we have vaccines available for COVID-19, returning to the “normal” work environments can have a potential to create another escalation of COVID-19 cases.
The president from the Global Workplace Analytics is predicting that 30% of workers that were granted privileges to work from home would much prefer to continue to work from home once the pandemic finally ends. It is also predicted there being financial incentives for companies to cut costs with eliminating office leases and utilities by allowing employees to continue working from home.
- Companies will count on staggering schedules for any onsite workers
As companies begin to reopen it is understood there are continued dangers for COVID-19. Congested and overcrowded workspaces can create contagion breeding ground that exposes many people to this deadly virus. Many companies will implement staggered schedules to have less crowding and assist in keeping workers safer.
The pattern of fewer workers being crammed into work spaces, instead of 100% of onsite workers will become the new norm long-term.
- Open floor plans will come to an end
The open floor plans have been criticized long before the pandemic. This open floor plan option was first designed by prison designs and later company executives thought it would be useful for their company. The executives believed cubicles and private offices were too closed off and not welcoming and open floor plans were much friendlier. The open floor plans created clutter and forced employees to be too close to one another.
- Business travel will become less frequent
During the years before the pandemic, approximately 62% of American workers were required to travel to another state for work. This meant that 1.1 million people travelled daily. As so many have been working remotely, it was found that we did not need face to face meetings because it was easy to have video meetings. The ability to have meetings virtually accomplished the same goals and also allowed additional work to be handled instead of driving to different locations just for a meeting.
- Millennial designs
Giving the office a slight facelift could mean spending less than $200 on custom designs and more likely meaning investing in germ discouraging features. Somethings that would be beneficial may include better quality air filters, hard seat surfaces, and possibly UV lighting to help disinfect meeting locations.
- Social responsibility among companies will strengthen
Hopefully, one lesion we have all learned during the pandemic is we are indisputably connected together as a society. For us to continue operations after the pandemic comes to an end, companies must understand honorable and ethical responsibilities they have for their employees, but humanity as an entirety. A crisis like the one we have been dealing with is forcing organizations devoting more to the common good.
- Create an understanding that work and life exists in unrelated realms
The pandemic had profound impacts on future work having undeniably been demolishing the thoughts of work-life balance. The argument regarding work life balance indicting that the two existed on opposite ends of the same pole with very little overlap was set to protect workers from challenging jobs. The expectations being perfectly fine for work life to intrude on one’s personal life was noticed for working parents during all we have been dealing with lately.
Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope the information provided in this post was helpful for you. It is also my hope y’all are staying as safe as possible because unfortunately, we are not out of the woods with this virus. I would love to read your thoughts on what I have shared and I do promise to respond as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love , comfort, and many positive vibes!