The coronavirus pandemic is unlike any previous worldwide disaster that has occurred. It has restricted social and work life around the globe.
Following the Covid protocols have acquired a patriotic significance, normally reserved for times of war. Working from home has become a new trend as everything, from virtual education to online shopping, is now a crucial part of our lives.
Even doctors have started providing online consultations to patients. Employees are now accustomed to working remotely. Workplace flexibility is valued and productivity has increased. As technology is gaining widespread adoption, employee-employer relationship is being redefined.
The positives of the pandemic, viewed in terms of the redefining of the employer-employee power dynamic, have helped some to the exclusion of others.
Working from home has afforded employees the time to look after their health. Employee healthcare and well-being are at an all-time high. Organizations are taking required steps, showing consideration for the health of the employees, and increasing their focus on providing work-life balance by implementing several new policies.
They encourage employees to take time offs in order to exercise, meditate, engage in leisure activities, engage in counseling, and give allowances for therapy. Some organizations even provide paid time offs in order to give back to the community as part of flexible working.
Employees need to be encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, like eating a healthy diet, sleeping well, and striking a work-life balance.
Workplaces are no more just places where people go to put in hours of work. They are now viewed as places that have the greatest bearing on employees’ social and professional well-being.
To preserve continuity and a competitive edge in today’s environment, businesses must make fast organizational changes. Workers of some programs, like an MBA, are well-positioned to Influence Work Culture Positively with an MBA, making workplaces representing of inclusivity and diversity.
It can assist professionals in gaining the leadership qualities necessary to create a positive work environment. The following are some of the workplace cultural trends for the post-pandemic world.
1. Remote and Hybrid Work
The pandemic has forced everyone to shift online. According to Gartner’s research, about 48% of employees would most likely work remotely, at least part of the time after COVID-19, compared to 30% before the pandemic.
As employees move to more remote work settings, companies can assess employees’ basic skills that they will need to collaborate digitally. Companies are preparing strategies about how performance goal-setting and employee evaluations should be moved to a distant location.
Remote work has also had positive environmental impacts: 7.8 billion vehicle miles have been saved, 3 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) have been removed from the total emission output, and $980 million have been saved in oil consumption.
Aside from having the flexibility to hire exceptional employees from all over the world, remote work can save time and money by decreasing time and costs spent in commutes to work, as well as helping employees reduce their carbon footprint.
Because there is a larger pool of prospective talent for employers to choose from, it holds attraction for the employers as well. Employees keep their compensation and benefits, save time and money on commuting, and get the freedom to completely customize their work environment.
- Concerns about fairness and equity
Whether it’s about race, climate change, or the distribution of COVID vaccines, debates over justice have heated. According to the S&P 500, the number of times CEOs now bring up themes around equity, justice, and inclusion have increased by a whopping 658 percent since 2018.
There are firms where some managers provide their employees flexibility, while others do not. Companies are paying 20% salary premiums in order to hire new employees in today’s labor market.
Is it acceptable to pay new hires this much when there are experienced workers that want their salaries increased? Executives will need to examine how they manage justice and equity across more diverse employee experiences in 2022.
3. Employee Data & Analytics
With remote and hybrid work settings steadily on the rise, it has become more important than ever to use tools and platforms to track employee development and behavior. Employee engagement tools enable organizations to effortlessly communicate, engage, acknowledge, and track employee metrics.
To increase efficiency and productivity, businesses are increasingly investing heavily in these platforms. Companies who use innovative data-focused technologies have a greater understanding of their employee demographics and can make better-informed decisions faster and in real-time.
HubEngage, for example, uses its employee communications platform to better understand their staff. All policy and procedure revisions are based on feedback from employees. Attrition is less than 5%, and those who have left have gone on to working for companies, like Google, Amazon, and other huge conglomerates, leveraging their enhanced skillsets and experience.
4. Dangers of Prolonged Sitting
Employees have been affected in a variety of ways as a result of the shift to remote employment. 35% of remote work employees have adjusted well and increased physical activity and reduced weight, whereas others, 40%, have fared poorly and gained weight due to prolonged sitting.
People who don’t take up any physical activity along with remote work are exposed to increased health risks. As a result, businesses will implement new communication strategies, benefits, and technologies in order to encourage remote workers to take better care of their health.
Physical-wellness initiatives, like traditional wellness programs, will evoke a response from employees who believe their employers shouldn’t have any involvement in their physical health.
DE&I risks are also present in these physical wellness initiatives, as they may negatively impact the engagement of employees with disabilities.
Remote and hybrid work have ushered in a new era of work, with its altered power dynamics that have put employees in a better position than the employers. There is still, however, a need for introducing cohesiveness into teams. Organizations can win the competition for talent by developing cultures that engage, reward, and, most importantly, inspire employees. There are still a lot of moving parts that are transforming work and only time can tell what the final picture will be like.