As the business world is on its way to adapt to the post pandemic reality, profound changes brought up by COVID-19 will likely permanently transform the way we work. At the peak of the restrictions associated with the virus, many people embraced Work From Home and it has become an unexpected and great boost to virtual work. Most companies have successfully managed to engage their knowledge workers from home and continued their business opera- tions during the weeks of the lockdowns.
Not returning to the office during the lockdowns has put businesspeople into a temporary “crisis response mode” as most business activity shifted down to the lowest gear. Management and employees were doing whatever needed to be done to keep their business afloat, putting off the rest till better times and hoping to still have their businesses and jobs when things go back to normal.
Somewhere down the road, we have realized that the COVID-19 Pandemic will influence our social, personal and professional lives far beyond the next few months. According to some estimates social distancing and requirement to wear a face mask will go as far as 2022. This means, that businesses will need to move from firefighting mode to a more moderate and more balanced approach to staying safe on the one hand and take action to revive the world econo- my on the other hand.
Official COVID-19 restrictions are now being relaxed, but all efforts remain focused on health and safety. Businesses blend into a hybrid mode of Work From Home and the ability to carry out some activity from their offices or customer premises. We are looking into the future, where people prefer to telecommute more frequently but also wish to have the flexibility to work from the office or any other location of their choice. Many companies announced they are maintain- ing remote work after the pandemic restrictions are removed; however, studies suggest that no-office organizational structures might not be desirable or sustainable in the long run, as the social component of a healthy workplace as well the possibilities for talent development might suffer. Businesses that manage to offer the flexibility of remote work in the long run, combined with building a strong collaborative and trustful culture in this hybrid environment, will be able to attract and retain the best talent.