How Will COVID-19 Change The Workplace?
How Will COVID Change The Workplace

How Will COVID-19 Change The Workplace?

2020 has been a challenging and tough year for many, with the biggest issue being the spread of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

This virus spread all over the world in the early parts of the year and caused a global pandemic – forcing most of us into lockdown.

Thanks to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, many employers were able to place staff on “furlough leave”, allowing them to stay at home and receive 80% of their usual wages from the Government in an effort to keep UK businesses afloat. If you want to know how this affects those on zero-hour contracts, read more here.

As of August 2020, we have already seen quite a few companies returning to the office, but many are still waiting it out at home. Looking to the future, COVID-19 is going to affect the way we work for a long time.

While we cannot tell for sure, here is our take on how we think the workplace is going to change post COVID-19.

Remote Working

With the COVID-19 pandemic making everyday life in the office virtually impossible, employers have been forced to re-evaluate working situations and find other ways to keep people working whilst away from the office.

Over the last few months, we have seen a huge increase in the amount of people that are working from home, and we think that this is going to completely change the working schedule going forward.

Many employers, who had previously said working from home would be impossible, no longer have an excuse to deny remote working as COVID-19 has forced them to change their approach to work.

When talking about staff working from home, employers were understandably nervous about productivity levels, but thanks to platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Teams, they have been able to host regular meetings and keep in frequent conversation to see how they are doing/performing.

Research has even shown that some people are even more productive when working from the comfort of their house, so the argument that remote working means less work done has become invalid.

The ability to work from home gives employees a lot more flexibility in their work, and the current situation proves that remote working can be done for most businesses.

Some employers have doubled down on working from home, including social media giant Twitter who told staff they could work from home “forever” if they choose to going forward. Will we see more businesses take a similar approach?

If you are looking for some tips on how to stay successfully work from home, click here to read our helpful article.

Added Protection

If we are to return to an office filled with staff, an increased level of hygiene is crucial.

Social distancing will have to become second nature to all employees, and hand sanitiser will need to be readily available to everyone.

Offices will need to be prepared to move things around to try and adhere to social distancing guidelines. If there is no room to move, then protective guards/screens will likely be needed to be fitted.

We have already seen many stores up and down the country installing protective screens at checkouts and any place where there is face to face interaction.

Even small things such as having mugs with people’s names on them to stop others from using and having separate hand towels to keep employees safe is going to be standard going forward.

Many offices are asking employees to have their temperature taken before coming in the workspace as a measure of protecting staff from potential early exposure, and it is likely that we could see this rolled out everywhere soon.

Online Training

With so many companies running on skeleton crews, there has never been a better time to invest in learning and investing in employees.

In times like these, it is important to have qualified, trained professionals in the workplace that can not only carry out a variety of roles and responsibilities but can enforce strict health & safety rules as well.

When face to face interaction is not safe and with training providers unable to visit sites, online training is the perfect solution to keeping staff compliant and in the know.

We offer a wide range of low cost, time efficient online training courses that can be done from the comfort of your home or at your desk in the workplace. Our courses cover a large variety of topics and can be applicable for most sectors and industries.

If you’d like to learn more about our courses, please click here.

Less Travelling & More Productive Meetings

One of the more positive things to come out of this situation is the increase of online video calls instead of face to face meetings.

Zoom has essentially become a household name at this point, with their software becoming the number one destination for the nation’s lockdown catch-ups, family quizzes and most importantly, work meetings.

While travelling to meet clients or customers can hold great value, it is often a trip that will take up a lot of valuable time and could tend to drag on longer than needed.

With employers’ time more valuable than ever, we think that more and more workplaces will opt for online video calls as opposed to face to face meetings.

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Lastly, we think there will and needs to be a big focus on looking after employee’s wellbeing, both physical and mental.

Going back into the office when the world is still enduring a pandemic can be a struggle for many and offering support for those who need it is essential in these trying times.

Working in isolation for months on end will have likely taken a toll on many staff members’ mental health, so a plan to support these workers is needed.

With all these new measures and social distancing procedures in place, it can feel intimidating and almost inhumane, so trying to keep a level of normality by encouraging socialising and teamwork among the staff will go a long way.

Remember, we are all in this together, so it is important to look out for your employees.

Where We Come In

As touched upon throughout this article, we here at Wurkplace are dedicated to helping businesses adapt to the current situation and offer a range of services to ensure workers are kept as safe as possible.

One of the ways we are doing so is through our Back to Work Kit, a comprehensive range of products dedicated to keeping you and your employees safe at work.

The kit includes posters, protective gloves & masks, guards and even mugs – all available for bespoke customisation to include your business logos.

One of our Health & Safety experts will also come and install/fit any items purchased and conduct a Safety Audit while on the premise.

If you would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.

Want to get involved in the conversation? Tweet us at @wurkplaceltd and let us keep this going.

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