What did you believe was going to be the next big shift in the workplace back in February? If you are like us, you were probably thinking about Artificial Intelligence. Well, now it’s clear that the shift is in adaptability.
Just as the industrial revolution created room for scale manufacturing and the IT revolution made communications seamless, the pandemic revolution made room for a shift in traditional work-spaces. Organizations able to adapt to produce from anywhere will reap the benefits of this shift. However, we believe this shift is different, success will not only come from being able to work from anywhere but also from being able to not lose the human connection and interaction even when unable to have physical interaction.
Some organizations, like ours, might have benefited as remote work has been in our DNA since inception. However, companies not set-up for work from anywhere, will struggle. It’s going to be “Business as unusual”.
We are built for connection
Despite the fact that we’ve lost much of the physical contact that makes us social animals, the digital landscape of options has shaped our productivity by highlighting how humanly connected we still are. This is forcing us to adopt new ways we didn’t think of, and create new cultures.
One small change in one part of the world can tip a government or trigger large movements in another. Leaders can accumulate political advantages in the times of pandemic or free-fall in the polls if they don’t play their cards well.
So how does this human connection work? Well, we believe this is more of a journey than a set of behaviors, but patience, empathy and compassion are at its core. So, as restrictions are lifted, what will companies have learned that will become the new standard ways of organizing work?
The benefits of this experience have shown that remote working is a practice that brings up more value of work as a place. According to Gallup, approximately 60% of American workers prefer to work remotely as much as possible.
productivity < mindful working environments
If more employees work from home, employers may increase monitoring tasks more objectively such as goals and productivity levels instead of making judgments on subjective situations. This could mean new productivity evaluations and less micromanagement.
Even if public health measures are lifted, and travel around the globe gets back to normal, many companies will have metrics from this forced non-travel scenario, and decide if the investments on travel and other physical interaction business practices are worth it after all. More than one company will rethink their employee travel policies.
We believe that this pandemic has shown that being happy at work matters, REALLY MATTERS. As the lines get blurred between work life and personal life for people working from their homes, it became critical to find meaningful pleasure in their work, in order to be both productive and manage a calm peaceful environment at home. Companies tend to be shifting to more employee work-life balance strategies such as more employees’ sick leave support, financial assistance, adjusted hours of operation, child care provisions, providing mindfulness resources, etc.
Companies focusing on soft and compassionate investments are in the best place to reap the benefits of the adaptability revolution. Is your company on this path?