Featured image by Yasmina H on Unsplash
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, it crippled many businesses and left thousands of employees displaced with nothing to do. Two years later, the battle goes on. The COVID-19 virus continues to threaten the world with new variants. Only this time, most of the population is almost fully vaccinated, and new workplace trends have emerged. This allows businesses to run much as usual but safer and more efficiently.
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Moreover, these trends became so effective that many startups boomed during the pandemic, using modern tools and practices from planning to execution. Here are some trends that could reshape the future of how we work or do business, even after the pandemic.
The Trend of the Hybrid Workplace Setup
Many companies made the hard choice of allowing their employees to take their work and equipment home when the pandemic started. However, what seemed to be a tough decision turned out to be the most beneficial. This is because there was an increase in productivity when employees began working remotely.
Remote work offers flexibility that office work can’t. This boosts employee production rate, contrary to the fear of many owners. The setup became so effective that job seekers today are predominantly looking for remote white-collar work.
While most offices are finally offering permanent remote work setup, some are moving forward with hybrid work. The latter combines remote and office work. In the hybrid setup, employees can perform their tasks outside of the office for several days and come to the office for the rest of the week.
Many employees prefer hybrid work to avoid feeling disconnected from their companies and colleagues. This also allows businesses to maintain a human presence in the workplace.
With the pandemic forcing employees to go remote, many tools and programs gained popularity to help companies deliver their business as usual. Team communication, cloud collaboration, and project management tools are some of the workplace trends that made remote work easier during the pandemic.
Video conferencing apps were among the tools most downloaded by remote workers. Video conferences ensured faster and better communication. While developers didn’t necessarily create most of these tools for the pandemic, they became immediate hits. This is because companies saw how they complement remote work.
Digitalization is also present for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to launch their businesses. For instance, an online platform called doola can help establish a startup as a limited liability company (LLC) or as a C corporation. These frameworks allow aspiring entrepreneurs to ease into some crucial technicalities of owning a business, like taxes and business structures.
One of the most unfortunate workplace trends is that cybersecurity threats are now more common. They became more prevalent during the pandemic when most employees were unsupervised when using their equipment at home.
In 2021, a report on cybercrime during the pandemic stated that 81 percent of global organizations experienced increased cyber threats. Phishing, in particular, rose to 220 percent at the height of the worldwide health scare.
Today, companies are implementing tighter cybersecurity countermeasures as more people transition to remote work. Developers are continuously creating more intelligent and intuitive programs against cyberattacks. These will help businesses combat evolving threats even after the pandemic.
Companies are also training their employees to become more aware of the different cyberattacks. This is vital so they can protect themselves as they work wherever they want.
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While remote work saw increased productivity, it also produced a wave of burnout among employees. Remote workers became more disconnected and stressed because of the lack of interaction. Many people missed talking or having coffee with co-workers. All these stressors are on top of the anxiety already inflicted by the pandemic.
Fortunately, many companies understand such disadvantages of working remotely. As a result, they are offering flexible benefits to employees, like additional leaves, financial assistance, and flexible hours. Some are even implementing the compassionate workplace trend of offering mental breaks to prevent burnout.
Now that most companies are going remote, many employees don’t need to rent an apartment in a major city to be close to their offices anymore. This is a workplace trend that is definitely affecting businesses and workers alike in a big way.
According to recent data, big cities in the US experienced high numbers of resident losses during the pandemic. With the continuous rise of remote work, there could be a high demand for real estate in more peaceful areas with cheaper living costs. People may also want to move back to their hometowns where they’re more comfortable.
Pandemic Workplace Trends Led to a Safer and More Efficient Workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world when it hit in 2020. Businesses closed shops, and there were many displaced employees. But, as with many challenges, people started fighting back. This time, by creating new workplace trends and complementing them with modern technology, they ensured that new and old businesses could continue even during the pandemic.
Then, what seemed to be answers to the negative impact of COVID-19 became solutions for making the workplace safer, more efficient, and far more productive.
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