Now that Covid19, social distancing and the frequent washing of hands is well embedded in society, businesses are turning their attention on how to get back to ‘normal’
And what is post-Covid-normal exactly? Ahh, who knows, I struggle with what day of the week it is at the moment but I am seeing a couple of big things being discussed that will drive the way that businesses look in the future.
Here are just three
1. Post Covid Health Check
Many organisations pushed out work from home and collaboration solutions in a very short period of time as a response to lockdown. We know that the immediate roll out will have solved more issues than caused, but it is now, circa 5 months after this all started, that businesses will really be starting to see any pain caused by cutting corners, skipping governance and not adopting best practice. A very large trend is being seen for what we are calling the Post Covid Health Check. We’re seeing lots of organisations now asking us to look for gaps in security, things that have fallen out of governance, inefficient structures, sprawl and general poor housekeeping. All these things need to be addressed, now, before they really become embedded in process. I think the majority of organisations are, or have been, largely unaware of what has actually been going on whilst getting through this period. It is time to find out what you don’t know and understand what needs to be done.
2. Working from Home vs the need for office space
The second major trend in conversation is whether or not there is an ongoing need for organisations to have so much real estate. Yes, this is a real consideration for many. People are successfully working from home, so do you need to pay for offices to be open all the time, do you need such large offices, or indeed, do you need them at all? Most organisations seem to be agreed that a serious review is real estate review is required.
Whatever you decide, don’t let your staff go back to commuting every day unless it is really needed. If you just return to the way you operated pre-lockdown, you could be missing a big opportunity that may not come around again in our lifetime (hopefully not anyway). Do your staff need to lose 3-4 hours each day travelling when they could be balancing life and realising greater productivity time?
The mental wellbeing of staff needs to be considered as many people are finding that being at home all the time is not healthy, but there is good ground to be made in rethinking what you really need for the future. The office role is already changing to being a more social interaction point, a social hub for people where they can meet and discuss critical things, but it is no longer a dedicated place of work.
3. Clothing/ Attire
A slightly lighter side effect of this has been watching what people wear when joining video conferences. They seem to loosely fit in to 3 categories.
- Those who dress formally with pressed shirts/ blouses etc.
- The ‘I’m wearing what I am wearing’ brigade (that’s me)
- The ‘I made it out of bed’ group – yes, you know the ones
What I find particularly interesting about it is the effect it has on the call. I have always believed/ hoped that I have been employed because of what is in my head (not the weird and dodgy stuff) and not because of what I wear. But there does seem to be an acceptance now that with the first two, so long as you are reasonably well presented, then life is good. This I suspect will lead to a more relaxed working attire.
One thing that is clear is that there does seem to be a direct correlation between the ‘I made it out of bed’ folk and their lack of input on conferences. It makes me wonder if these people are going to feature in the more productive and task driven organisations of the future. As for those who don’t turn on video, you are either eating or not playing fair 😊
Whatever your thoughts, watch for points 1 & 2 as they are happening right now.
Watch the video version here.