All change? Has coronavirus altered the way we work forever?

All change? Has coronavirus altered the way we work forever?

 18 May 2020

Coronavirus has impacted us all – as employers, employees, and individuals. We have had to adapt rapidly, and it has forced us to plan for an entirely different way of living and working. But as we get used to our “new normal” what impact will the pandemic have on the future of our working lives?

 

Technology is key

The lockdown has certainly highlighted the importance of investing in and embracing the right technology. Organisations that were already paperless, with robust systems, and staff who were comfortable using remote technology adjusted almost seamlessly and were productive immediately.

The advancement of technology means that screensharing and videocalls are easily accessible to all, and really useful additions to an agile working toolkit.

 

Embracing change….

Organisations across a wide spectrum of industries have witnessed their staff work from home effectively and efficiently. As a result, many are already looking at formalising agile working contracts long term, reducing the numbers of staff that need to be physically in attendance in a central office location in any one time, or even at all. 

This will create an obvious decrease in demand for commercial property, impacting on costs. We’ll also see a reduction in commuter numbers and the resultant positive environmental impact. 

 

Flexibility

The majority of us have experienced first-hand the obvious benefits of having more quality time and less money spent on commuting. As lock-down continues to ease and children are allowed to return to school, the benefits will be more keenly felt as we can all enjoy more leisure activities and focus on work without having to home-school as well.

Several reports suggest that the residential property market has already started to witness an increase in interest in properties further afield as the expectation of agile working becoming the norm increases, and the importance of being tied to the commuter belt conversely dwindles. 

 

An agile job market

Within days of the start of the lock down, we had several new enquiries from candidates around the UK asking whether employers were now considering hiring staff to work remotely. 

If the job market becomes more agile, the talent pool for employers becomes much larger. What implication will this then have on salaries?

In the same way that agile working increases the talent pool for the employer, so it increases the potential number of options for the job seeker.

 

At the onset of the lockdown our working lives changed almost beyond recognition overnight. How many of those changes will stay with us long after the pandemic is over? Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of the commuter belt as a significant number of us now start to work remotely? Only time will tell. 

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