Covid-19 was a surprise to everyone worldwide. It came without any warning. Covid-19 has forced everyone to conform to its terms, and, for better or worse, it has forced us to re-evaluate norms and processes that we relied on pre-pandemic. One of these norms is working in the office.
Because of the nature of the virus, working in the office was halted, and we were forced to adapt. Those of us fortunate enough to work from home have been developing different habits because of the change in the working environment. Before, it was thought that working from home would be a detriment to the company, but now these perspectives have changed. Some companies may even change and do work from home (WFH) permanently.
In the past year, millions of people have been working from home. In recent surveys, it shows that permanent remote work is going to double in 2021. This is something that has not happened before and will cause a massive shift in the way that companies approach their WFH policies. People have shown that when allowed to work in an environment that is productive for them, they can excel and work effectively, even during a pandemic. To stay competitive in 2021, companies need to be more flexible with their WFH policies to attract top talent.
Companies should also consider their dress code policies. Because of this shift to WFH, many have tossed their business clothes and traded them for a t-shirt and sweatpants. Is traditional business attire really necessary? Of course, depending on the nature of your company/industry, many companies will convert back to the norm of business attire. It may be beneficial for companies to ask their employees what type of dress is more conducive to their productivity.
Coming Back to the Office
Working from home may have its benefits, but it lacks physical contact with co-workers. Though bringing in profit is vital for a company, fostering an enjoyable company culture can be just as important. Some employees have not had the opportunity to meet their co-workers. When it is time to come back to the office, it will be essential to emphasize non-work events and activities.
Also, as employees slowly adapt to the new normal, it will be important to be clear and upfront about safety precautions due to Covid. We'll need to ensure that everyone is on the same page and feels safe and respected.