With 62% of employed Americans working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what is the future of work? States are slowly easing their Stay-At-Home orders through phases and returning back to work might happen soon. Take a look at some of the changes we are expected to see!
1. Get used to working from home
This won’t apply to every job, but it turns out many people can actually work from home productively. Plus, the majority of employed Americans who have been working from home would prefer to continue a work-from-home policy. According to Gallup, approximately 60% of American workers prefer to work remotely as much as possible, even when public health restrictions are lifted. If more employees work from home, there is an increasing potential to disrupt the commercial real estate market. As more employees work from home, there is a less overall need to own or rent office space.
2. Get used to being monitored by your employer
If more employees work from home, employers may increase the monitoring of their employees. That means your productivity could be measured and tracked, even if you’re working outside a traditional office environment. Many companies already do this, but now it would take place in your home. For example, your employer could track your keystrokes on your computer to analyze your productivity, or understand how often you are away from your computer. While there are evident privacy concerns, this is not a spy novel. Companies argue that responsible monitoring is necessary to ensure productivity.
3. Your office is not completely disappearing
The entire world won’t work from home. Offices will still exist. However, they may look different. Big trading floors or other open floor plans may be replaced in some cases by cubicles or other partitions for health reasons. How will social distancing be maintained at work? These may be temporary changes until there’s a Coronavirus vaccine, or employers may find that this new normal layout may continue so long as it doesn’t hinder productivity, jeopardize the health or adversely affect employee morale.
4. More video calls and fewer in-person meetings
What will happen to all those standing-room-only, in-person meetings in conference rooms? Video conference calls have become more popular than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. This could continue even after a Coronavirus vaccine. If you work in any sales-oriented job, in-person contact may be essential to your business. However, from a public health perspective, frequent business travel may be replaced by more video conference calls. It may not happen in every industry, but companies will want to protect employees and clients alike in a post-COVID world. This doesn’t mean business travel is going away (it’s not), but companies may limit travel. This has direct implications for the airline and hospitality industries, at least in the short-term.