While the global pandemic will inevitably result in long term transformations to the form and function of the workplace, the short term will mostly be characterized by iterative solutions intended to buy time and weather immediate concerns.
It is uncertain when or if a vaccine for COVID-19 will be discovered, and radical reorganization of the workplace could prove an unnecessary cost at a time when many businesses are perilously weak, financially.
Based on conversations with our extensive network of clients and monitoring of industry developments, we have compiled the most important changes in our handy guide on the post-pandemic workplace.
The Post-Pandemic Workplace: Short term impact
Hygiene protocols will be vital
While lockdown has put hygiene at the forefront of most people’s minds, behavioural experts warn that short term habits can easily be lost if they aren’t normalized for the longer term.
New workplace norms will emerge around hygiene practices, and this will help enforce and maintain a more hygiene-focused culture. Will the handwashing basin replace the watercooler as a place for gossiping? Will employees who forget to regularly sanitize their hands be shamed?
These new norms will have to mitigate the inherent limitations of social distancing imposes on workplace socializing.
The Post-Pandemic Workplace: Long term impact
A large number of businesses will opt for downsizing their office space, as an increasing proportion of staff work remotely.
This could prove positive: it will undoubtedly save on overheads and offer an opportunity to reflect on what is and isn’t necessary for a working environment. Remote job opportunities are also increasingly attractive to potential employees; 74% of engineering and infrastructure professionals want their employer to encourage more working from home, according to a poll by our parent company, Phaidon International. Employers can also engage diverse groups who may be disenfranchised by the traditional office environment, including those with childcare or eldercare responsibilities, people with disabilities, and contingent workers.69