Recent Workplace Changes that may Continue in the Future

Over the past few months, as the Coronavirus pandemic has swept the world, the workplace as we know it has changed.  Many wonder if it will ever return to the way it was before March 2020.  An article on EHS Today’s website talks about 9 current workplace trends that were put in place during the quarantine that will most likely continue into the future. Do you see these continuing in your workplace?

  • The number of employees working remotely will continue and will most likely increase. The article suggests that 74% of CFO’s plan to increase remote work and at least 48% of employees will work part time from home as opposed to 30% before the outbreak.
  • Employers offering support in more areas will increase. Employers will most likely continue to be more involved in their employee’s lives by offering support for mental health, providing financial health support, and by expanding coverage for health care.
  • Data collection on employees will increase. With a more remote workplace employers have been passively tracking individuals actions like virtual clocking in and out, monitoring emails and internal chat, tracking work computer usage as well as having more access to employee health data.
  • Contingent worker numbers will continue to rise. Organizations have started to replace full time employees with contingent workers in order to save money. Using these type of employees provides companies with flexibility when it comes to workforce management.
  • Critical skills vs critical roles will be reviewed. By looking at roles and skills separately employers are shifting the focus to “coaching employees to develop skills that potentially open multiple avenues for them.” Knowing how to do more than just the role you were hired for will be beneficial.
  • Engaging all types of employees will be important. During this pandemic some employees have developed strong ties with their co-workers while others have become more task oriented and withdrawn.  Employers will have to learn how to draw in the task oriented employees to create togetherness.
  • Desirable employers will emerge. New hires will be interested in how organizations treated their employees and ran their workplace during this pandemic.  The decisions that companies made during this difficult time will be considered in the future.
  • Companies will design for resilience instead of efficiency. Employers that can focus on adaptive and flexible careers will help their organizations be able to withstand sudden changes.
  • Organizations will become more complex. The article suggests that during the next several months bigger companies will become even bigger and there will be more mergers and acquisitions.  HR will then need to create more flexible operating models to adhere to change.

While workplaces may never quite be the same, the way that many employers have responded to the current crisis is impressive.  People have come together to create new ways of communicating, new ways of producing products, and new ways of running their businesses.  Hopefully many of the good practices that have come out of this will continue.

“9 Trends Impacting the Future of Work.”


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