In just a short time, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the lives of people around the world. In America, the economic impact of the virus has led to furloughs, layoffs, record unemployment numbers and new categorizations of essential workers.
Amid managing life during a pandemic, employees have shifted from the office to their kitchen tables, and many are finding themselves in this remote-work situation for the foreseeable future due to a slow lift of operational restrictions.
Make no doubt about it, the pandemic is transforming the way people work; but the question now begs, “what other changes will we see in the coming months and years?”
To find out how the pandemic could forever transform the American workforce JP Maroney, CEO of multinational enterprise, Harbor City Capital, reviews 5 ways the health crisis will influence the way we conduct business.
Companies are going to realize that they can save money working remotely.
Not all of them, but many companies will shift to more remote workers.
JP Maroney says, “I think we’re forever going to look at how we operate in life differently and you look at the corporate world as well right now companies have been forced, absolutely forced to go remote will they all go back to office buildings? I don’t think so.”
Why? The bottom line – working remotely saves money.
“I think the companies are going to realize that hey we can save money, people are productive and not all of them but I fully believe that many companies will shift to more remote workers,” explains Maroney.
Office buildings will become hubs.
If and when employees do return to a physical office space, some companies may choose to provide access to co-working spaces wherever their workers are concentrated rather than have the majority of their workforce at one central location.
Brent Capron, of architecture firm Perkins and Will’s New York, explains, “People will still gather for work, but the amount of time you work in proximity with others, and what your work week looks like — I see that to be the biggest cultural shift moving forward.”
Americans will take on more side jobs.
Jobs are going to be looked at differently because individuals now realize how quickly their income can be wiped out… Their jobs are just not going to always be there for them.
“The gig economy, people having side hustles, small home-based businesses is going to have a big BOOM as we come through these things because people are no longer going to have the confidence that they did before,” the CEO of Harbor City Capital reviews.
On-the-job medical screening could become mandatory.
The number one concern most employers have about returning to work is how to keep their employees safe. Measures like on-the-job medical screening, i.e. temperature checks and antibody tests, may become a reality for those who do return to the office in the coming months.
According to labor and employment attorney David Barron, “It’s also possible U.S. workers may be asked to show some form of “immunity certificate,” verifying that they have immunity to Covid-19, before they return to work.”
Companies will shift their way of thinking.
If one lesson is to be learned from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that companies can never become complacent. Businesses need to always be ready for a crisis; because as the current situation has shown, it is inevitable.
“The last few years have been amazing. We’ve had some great success. Things have been really prosperous and business is doing well and market up. This lured a lot of people into a sense of complacency that this thing is going to last forever,” says JP Maroney.
One silver lining in this situation is that more employers will realize the need to work on their crisis contingency plans, especially if remote work becomes a more common option for employees. If organizations want to make sure that every one of their employees can work, then they’ll need to start having a discussion about what a long-term solution actually looks like.