How Workplace Dynamics will Shift After COVID-19
If there’s anything businesses have learned from COVID-19, it’s that they certainly weren’t ready for it. Modern society is no stranger to health crises and pandemics; SARs, MERS, Ebola and Swine Flu were all issues of mass concern not too long ago. But none of these illnesses prompted worldwide social distancing, closed international borders, mandatory work-from-home, or extended school and business closures.
Many businesses that have been able to continue operations with their teams working from home have been doing so since mid-March, showing that this business model is more sustainable than previously expected.
What this has shown business owners is:
- Employees don’t need to be constantly overseen in order to deliver their workload
- You can close business deals without face-to-face meetings
- Health and well-being will always come first
These notable trends now challenge workplace dynamics that existed prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, as both employers and their staff are seeing inefficiencies with time, finances, and employee resources. Here are some key ways the team at Dancon Construction expect workplace dynamics to shift following COVID-19, which will undoubtedly affect the way workplaces look and function, as well:
1. Improved Work-Life Balance
The Canadian Mental Health Association reports that 50% of the population will struggle with mental health issues by the age of 40, and that depression costs $6.3 billion per year between inadequate medical coverage for mental health resources and work leave. Lack of work-life balance has consistently been labeled as a primary contributor to mental health issues.
As Canadians have been forced to work from home, employers have had to be accommodating of what was previously perceived as “family distractions”. However, with having observed continuous productivity during the health crisis, employees and employers are both seeing that a healthier work-life balance is not only achievable, but also sustainable. Employees will be more likely to demand more flexible work hours or schedules, and employers who were previously strictly against a flexible work model will need to be more open to it.
2. Increased Sustainability
Do you know of a business that was doing exceptionally well, maybe even their best ever prior to COVID-19, and have taken a serious hit since? A huge lesson in dealing with this pandemic is that anything can happen, and it’s important to be prepared for the business and financial implications.
As business executives close new deals via Zoom or Skype calls, they’re seeing expensive courtship dinners or flying to in-person meetings are an unnecessary expenditure. As work teams manage to collaborate and deliver on their projects from home, it shows that smaller spaces can be leveraged, saving the company overhead, and saving employees travel time and expenses. Anything that can be saved now, can provide a safety net later.
3. Increased Collaboration
Work teams transitioning to collaborating remotely have no doubt experienced learning curves and miscommunications - it’s inevitable in a high-stress situation like reacting to a pandemic. What many workplaces have seen, though, is a blurring of the lines between some job functions. Many employees are cross-skilling and helping each other with their workload in an effort to support the business and its deliverables as a whole.
This increased collaboration helps to disperse the stress of a work issue amongst a team, thereby allowing for diverse perspectives and more creative and innovative solutions. Instead of separate physical departments, businesses will also need to improve spaces allocated to inter-team collaboration and include the resources to collaborate with those working remotely.
Work life may have changed as we know it as a result of COVID-19, and workplace dynamics may never be the same. With our years of designing and building commercial, retail and business spaces, Dancon Construction's team anticipates a huge shift in workplace culture that will inevitably change the way offices and commercial spaces are designed and layed out.
If you’re ready to get ahead of these trends, contact Dancon Construction to adapt your office design to the changing work culture!