If you’ve taken any bit of time on Social Media (and I know we have), you can’t help but see the up and downs that stay-at-home orders are having on everyone’s psyches. So many are brimming just below the surface needing to know what’s next and wanting to get to it now. What will life look like once we’re back up and running? This is the $64,000 post-pandemic question (if that’s not enough money for you, blame the 50’s for the context). To give away upfront the most likely answer for today – we’re not sure.
Currently, the conversation around working from home and what office life will be like moving forward is still happening. However, there are a few points to remember here. First, not everyone who is working from home is working from home in the classic sense. Those who are caring for COVID19-related relatives as well as those trying to be homeschool teachers (most for the first time) are not telecommuting in the way the future of work might require. Your kids are not going to stay home forever (please God, no); some states are already preparing for a return before the school year is over. And once that happens and those ill relatives move beyond this health crisis, your staff may be able to telecommute in a more traditional sense.
Secondly, not all of those who clamored to work from home want to keep doing so. For sure, there may be a mix of remote and onsite work, but it may not be exclusively one way or the other. Meeting work objectives is still the goal, right? Where that gets done is going to require a different approach or two.
And thirdly, the manner with which we complete work is evolving. Managing people merely by being physical near them will no longer be enough. Supervisors may no longer be able to rely on subjective sensibilities to determine acceptable performance for the organization. The remote workforce needs to have more substantial resources for output excellence as well as for management performance review. We may not be sure how to handle this fully today, but we need to get ready, quickly.
Certainly, all of this will be mixed with a renewed sense of safety and health considerations. Our world of work will be more – more considerate, more flexible and more aware. Surroundings will be seen with a new set of eyes. Our processes will need a refreshed sense of meeting objectives. And our employee relations will need a deeper approach to individual learning and corporate success. It won’t be a nice-to-have; it looks to be a necessity.
Are you getting ready?