The New Normal – How Companies Are Adapting to Employees Working from Home

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COVID-19 may still be spreading around the globe and disrupting many lives, but in some ways, many of us have come to tolerate the pandemic and found new ways to live alongside it. Companies have had to adapt and evolve, especially when there are many financial aspects to consider. Remedies and temporary measures have included everything from conference calls to lowering expenses, furloughing staff, and ensuring that employees start taking breaks accurately and accordingly. Let us explore some of these measures today.

The Evolution of Meetings

One of the biggest game-changers in the world of business has been online meetings. Ask yourself honestly: had you heard of Zoom before the pandemic? Most of us must admit that we had not. Now, it is a household name. Would Microsoft Teams have launched as rapidly as it did, had it not been for the pandemic? Probably not. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Hangouts, and other mediums have allowed companies and employees to continue working under the harshest of circumstances.

Many people are, perhaps rightly questioning whether we will ever return to face-to-face meetings in person when employees have proven that they can efficiently have group meetings over an internet connection. Given how well it has worked, office meetings could be a thing of the past.

Altered Expenses, Cut-Backs and More

The pandemic has seen plenty of financial losses, too. Many companies have gone bust. Others have found that they can drastically cut expenditure by not having to run an office. Not having an open canteen, lower electricity bills, and many other expenses have been saved by having staff work from home. This has, in part, allowed companies to invest more in their employees, by providing them with the resources they need to do everything at a distance.

New Productivity Levels

Some people have found it challenging to work from home. However, for most, working from home has seen an increase in productivity levels. Companies have reported that their employees are more refreshed. Part of that is down to the time they save travelling to and from the office. Another major secret behind this reinvigorated workforce comes from the fact that employees can take breaks when they want.

A Fresher, Happier Employee

Of course, there needs to be a degree of trust between bosses and employees. You cannot just skive off work because you are at home. Despite initial reservations about time-outs being abused, as lunch and break times are no longer timed using a clock system, it appears as though most employees are striking a fair balance, and finding something which works for them. The amount of time they take for a break and when they take it may be vastly different from when they were in the office, but as long as employees get their work done on time, bosses and companies do not seem to mind too much.

What We Have Learned

As an employee with a few months of working from home under your belt, you now know how to accurately manage your working hours, and that can help maintain mental clarity and increase efficiency.

Many changes have needed to be made to ensure that office workers keep companies and their businesses ticking over. All things considered, employee freedoms and the trust in the staff that companies have, have been a surprise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The real question is, once it is all over, will companies want to sacrifice this upturn in productivity and energy in favour of returning to the office and the day-to-day challenges that this brings? Could it just be that the COVID pandemic and the way that companies have adapted to letting staff work from home is the way forward in the future? For some of us, we can only hope so.

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