Because of the recent impact from COVID-19, how we work will never be the same. Our world has changed. And now, so must our workplaces. Let's take a look at how COVID-19 will impact the workforce.
There will be zero tolerance for companies who fail to promote health and wellness
This isn't new news. Over the last decade we have seen a rise in health and wellness in the workplace. But thanks to COVID-19 if you want to attract and retain top talent, there will be zero tolerance for companies who fail to promote this.
Better indoor air quality
One main factor that lead to China's success after reopening businesses is their indoor air quality due to high-end air filtration systems. China has made indoor air quality a top priority for years now, and thankfully it has paid off.
Since the widespread of COVID-19, having poorly ventilated buildings will now become a key component for change in the US. Virus's can live for days on surfaces and up to 3 hours in the air. Having a quality filtration system will now be the new workspace amenity that every dream office will have, and it just may become a deciding factor when it comes down to the safest place to work.
Another familiar trend- tracking and evaluating how your workspace is being used- will become even more part of the new normal. Tracking the movements and behaviors of employees will help companies audit their current space and re-think the efficacy of design and space planning for the future.
But what about those who don't feel comfortable working in a space with a large amount individuals? Yes, you guessed it. Having flexible career options (aka the option to work from home, or work from home part time) will be even more demanding among employees.
Keep in mind that even though we are returning to work, the impact of COVID-19 will remain relevant for years to come. If your company hasn't already started to implement the following tools, then you best start now as we are taking on a digital mindset.
Here is what you can expect to see:
increase in online chat
increase in online calls
increase in video conferencing (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype)
increase in cloud-base data
increase in "smart" and "on-command" devises (no one wants to touch a light switch that hundreds of others have touched. Think "Alexa, turn on the lights.")
increase in security and encryption (now that we are going even more digital, the risk of hacking and computer viruses are at an all time high.)
increase in virtual events
decrease of foot traffic into businesses
Speaking of the fear of working around a large amount of people, we predict a rise in multiple, smaller locations for one company verses one large office. Having smaller, multiple locations will help lessen the desire to work-from-home, while also maximizing health and safety. With multiple smaller locations, the lower amount of individuals per square footage will help strengthen social distancing practices and potential illness spread.
Shift in attitude towards mental health
COVID-19 left a profound impact on all of us and our well-being mentally. As a society, our experience of trauma, grief, death, loss, depression, stress and anxiety has shifted. Emotional well-being will become a strong factor when returning to work, and we expect to see a rise in workplace benefits related to prioritizing employee's mental healthcare.
How and Where we work
Not everyone is immuned - yet we are still expected to sit at a desk and work. How and where we work will undergo the largest transition. Things like space and privacy, what organizations have resisted for over a decade, is now imperative for survival and innovation. So what does the new workspace look like? We've dedicated an entire post to it. You can learn all about what the future of the workspace will look like after COVID-19 here.