The COVID-19 pandemic has created widespread uncertainty and caused a great deal of damage to the global economy. Many companies have suffered greatly, while others have been put out of business altogether. People everywhere have struggled to get to grips with the “new normal”, as enforced remote-working strategies have been employed to stop the spread of the virus.
But, there are lessons to be learned from such an epic upheaval of our work and personal lives. We can make ourselves –– and our businesses –– stronger and more resilient moving forward by recognising what’s important and how we can make the best of our new situations:
We Need Social Interaction
Business isn’t simply done via screens and over the phone, there’s a highly personal element to everything we do, no matter what your profession. While Zoom calls have become a mainstay of our business and personal interactions, nothing beats meeting people face-to-face.
Being in the same space as someone else while communicating helps us pick up on other people’s body language, allowing us to get a better understanding of each other’s requirements and ideas. It’s also a lot less stagnant than a phone call or video conferencing where delays and connection issues can wreak havoc on your everyday conversations.
There’s Nothing More Important Than Family and Friends
Not having enough time to make plans or cancelling arrangements because you’re so drained at the end of the week can have serious consequences. Losing touch with friends and relatives isolates people, but lockdown has provided us all with an opportunity to reconnect with old friends and loved ones, even if that has been over video or messaging services.
A more flexible approach to working has allowed employees to reconnect with the important people in their lives, which has generated greater happiness and wellbeing. It also makes people a lot more efficient in their jobs, so it’s a win-win situation.
We Need Our Space
Being cooped up in an uncomfortable office or working from your bedroom at home has given people a new appreciation for their working environments. Simply having enough space to operate comfortably can make all the difference to productivity, while plenty of natural light and handy facilities will enhance people’s perspectives of office working.
Coworking spaces offer a great alternative to the expensive, rigidly organised offices of old. Boasting flexible contracts, 24/7 access and numerous other benefits, flexible office spaces could help you take your business to the next level.
Actively Supporting Our Co-workers Makes All the Difference
Everyone has handled the physical and mental strain of lockdown differently, so we need to be there for our colleagues. It’s easy to get wrapped up with your work and become detached from the rest of your team. But, since most people have been working remotely, it’s increasingly important to keep in close contact with fellow employees so that any problems can be recognised early and dealt with effectively.
A small note in an email or a quick direct message to check in on your coworkers might instigate a wider conversation and reveal pain points felt by staff across the company. This can help to improve company-wide processes, plus, a small “thank you” that takes two minutes to write could make someone’s day!
Employees Need to Be Trusted More by Their Managers
Micromanaging strategies became much harder to employ since most companies have had to allow their staff to work from home. It’s inefficient to keep calling up employees to see what they’re up to, while the use of screen-tracking software is still somewhat controversial. But a new, more emboldened notion of trust and accountability has boosted overall productivity by over 13% and is something that should be carried into the future.
Since working from home isn’t ideal for a great many people, coworking spaces offer greater flexibility, allowing workers to work when they’re at their most productive. This also encourages managers to communicate more effectively with their teams to ensure that deadlines are met and workers remain happy.
We Need to Make Time for Nature
Getting out and experiencing the outdoors has become a much more popular activity since many establishments have been forced to close. Being locked away in a drab office block without any escape or isolating at home has made people recognise the value of a morning run or an afternoon stroll so much more.
Remote working and flexible working arrangements have allowed people more time to get out and about, which has been proven to have innumerable positive effects on mental and physical wellbeing.
The Office Isn’t Dead Yet
A great many people have been glad to see the back of their tired, old offices since the onset of COVID-19, but this isn’t the end of the office altogether. While we may be saying goodbye to an era of strict office hours and classic, cubicle-style working, a new generation of flexible offices are giving people inspiring spaces to develop their businesses and curate a new culture of working.