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Op/Ed

What will work be like in the post-COVID world?

(EDITORIAL) After so many changes to adapt to COVID-19 it’s worth asking what will happen once it passes. What will the post-COVID work be like?

post-COVID office

We have talked about how COVID-19 has forced a whole slew of people to work from home, and how to handle that transition as an employer and employee. We have given resources so that you can make it through this difficult time, but what will the post-COVID work world look like?

I am no Florida fortune teller, I can’t tell the future and haven’t been sued for fraud, but I guess the better way to know what the future holds is to ask, what changes do we want to keep?

So pre-COVID only around 9% of people worked remotely, but currently a figure closer to 42% are now working from home. That is a major shift in how people work day to day, and it has caused a lot of changes. Some good and some bad, along with some being easier and some harder.

No more long commute, but it’s harder to contact someone for info; working in more comfortable clothing, and yet it’s hard keeping the kids/animals/partner out of camera view and embarrassing you. By now though most of these bonuses/detractors have been handled, managed, and are now part of the new normal.

So because there are less commutes, distractions from coworkers, and fewer meetings workers have become more productive. Some have even shown a desire to work more just because they have more time available. This is great for companies and the economy, but it can cause a downside too. Some managers have used this as an example that everyone can work more, and therefore should.

Some companies have begun to, or expanded the use of invasive productivity tracking software, and other methods of employee control. Some of this software keeps your camera on at all times, some take snapshots every 5 seconds, they track mouse clicks, key strokes, and even websites visited for the last week. I understand wanting to make sure your employees are working, but there has to be a strong line when that employee works in the privacy of their own home.

Considering that a few companies are willing to let employees work remotely through October or all year, it’s worth asking your company what they plan to do. Post-COVID having less workers in office can be a good thing for them as well, they can move to a smaller, less expensive office space, or at least pay less in electricity with rotating remote days for workers, and they can raise morale by allowing more remote work for those who want or need it.

Again what will the post-COVID work world look like? Well what good things do you want to keep, and what bad will you no longer accept? COVID-19 has been a very dark cloud for a lot of people and businesses, but maybe this time around we can create the silver lining.

Colin is a Web Producer at The American Genius that spends more time with reptiles than a normal person would expect. Care for animals is one of his many passions alongside writing, drawing, gaming, and thinking of things to add to bios.

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