Different kinds of workers have been impacted in different ways by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations need to think out of the box and reshape the way they manage their workforce due to the current situation.
Social distancing has become the buzzword and businesses are moving into digital workspaces, to be able to continue their business operation without any disruption.
The first category of people is the ones working from home. Occasionally working from home is not new to many people, working only home is. People have had to change on a dime and learn a bunch of new things since the pandemic, like attending online meetings and talking to their teammates via video conferencing tools.
Another category of people is essential workers or factory workers who cannot work from home. If you look at this category, safety has become a major concern. Companies need to ensure that the people working for them are safe by implementing protocols for social distancing and following other safety measures.
To adapt to the post-pandemic world, companies are using new technologies like drones to change the way they do their jobs. Drones can be used in workplaces to look if the exits are closed when everyone’s off the store, look at inventory levels to know what replenishment is required, or use them for fleet management.
Some agricultural companies are also using this technology to keep a watch on their fields rather than sending out workers, giving them the freedom to work remotely. And people might continue to do this in the future since it is a safer and more convenient option that saves transportation costs and time.
What’s driving the adoption of new things in the present and future of work?
There’s an age-old saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.
Since the COVID pandemic hit the world, there has been a necessity for all of us. For people working from home, the necessity is to learn how to use Zoom, MS teams, or any other software or solutions to teach their children, teach themselves, and execute their work.
And for people who are out of work, their necessity is to reinvent themselves. Whether you are working from home on a job you have, or working on a job you have out of home, or brushing your skills to look for a new job, reinvention is true for all of us right now. And reinventing oneself might be one of the interesting common experiences that all of us are going through together.
Gig workers are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers, and temporary workers.
When companies were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the first group they let go of was these temporary or contract workers, because that was an opportunity for them to tighten their belts. Although it is expected that these workers might be the first to come back once things get back to normal.
Organizations need to consider rewarding and upskilling these contract workers because it’s highly likely that these people join for a temporary basis as a contract worker and then shift potentially into a full-time worker.
Some people like the flexibility of the gig economy because they can work in different places at different times.
The same thing is now happening with the entire workforce, that is, employees now have a lot of flexibility in the way they work as they continue to work remotely. For some people, it’s easier to work in a more unconventional way than a predictable manner.
Since nobody reaches out for a gig if it’s not something they are interested in, the gig economy can actually lead to better adoption and increased employee engagement because people are doing the things they really want to do.
As the working culture has changed quite a lot post-pandemic, the ability of people and organizations to adapt, shift, and perform, is necessary right now. This brings out the factor of “necessity” as we discussed earlier.
Be it the most basic things like adopting social distancing, wearing gloves, or be it the latest technologies leveraged to adopt the remote work culture, organizations might look at some training in the workplace around the adoption of things that are new to the people.
The increasing use of technology to work and stay connected has shaped new digital habits. Hence now is the time for organizations to reset, pivot, and think big to transform their business operations to match the new digital expectations and redefine themselves.
Adoption is critically important for any new business model, business product, business venture, or community processes. There’s really a need for employees to be able to adapt and move towards the “new”. And it is up to your company’s leadership to make end-user adoption and enablement a priority. Organizations that do a better job of enabling their teams to leverage technology will see more positive user experiences and increased productivity in the future.
Three months back the unemployment rate was very low and the employee experience was critical in terms of retention. Hiring employees and keeping them for a longer duration was a challenge for organizations. Unfortunately, there has been a shift in terms of that as the unemployment rate has increased post-pandemic.
Although the employee experience matters now too because consumers judge the brands on whether or not the employees there are being treated in the right manner by the organization.
So it’s interesting to see how brand experience, consumer experience, and employee experience are all coupled together because poor employees cannot provide a great consumer experience for the customer of that brand. Hence employee experience is directly related to the customer experience.
This is how the work culture has changed since the pandemic hit the world. Although most of the research on remote work indicates that remote work results in higher employee engagement, organizations need to train their employees to accelerate digital adoption and smoother their transition towards the new normal.
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