The coronavirus will change the future of how we work. We’re already experiencing shifts in so many facets of life from family and community to how we work and socialize. Are you prepared to weather the next storm?
Now that I have settled into a largely home-based work routine, binge watched Tiger King so I could keep up with the on-line references and padlocked the refrigerator to keep all of us here from turning diabetic, I am convinced of a stark reality: our lives are not going to go back to what they were, even when the lockdown ends.
I was talking with a good friend whose wife is a lawyer and the two of them now work from home – he was telling me that her law firm is coming to the realization that there may be no real value in maintaining square acres of Class A office space in multiple cities when many of the lawyers can, and in fact may prefer to, work from home offices.
It is too soon to know all of the fallout from this forced shutdown of much of the global economy, but it is a good bet that resumption of work activities will be a cautious affair – not like flipping the switch back to “ON”. Social distancing will be a habit tough to shake. Facemasks really are a fashion statement. I will wait for the next elevator to the 43rd floor, thank you.
Our company has rolled out special software and reporting features to our customers for managing and monitoring aspects of the recommended protocols for self-quarantining. My sense is that these will not be single use features, but the foundation for on-going worker safety management. We are already being told that the COVID-19 virus is likely to take a second lap through the world next winter if not before. And the risk of pandemic illnesses increases as the world’s population density continues to increase. Employers are obliged to ensure that their workers are safe from harm, including illnesses, in the workplace.
We will have learned a lot from this episode by the time we are back to work, and one of the lessons will likely be that measures we are currently implementing as extraordinary will become a part of normal procedure. Other conditions that we thought nothing of a month ago will be regarded as seriously obsolete by January 2021. Paper forms and processes will be on that list. So will shared information devices. You can choose to embrace these changes or not but consider that some economists now project that in a best case 30% of the small businesses in the country will not reopen.
If you are one of the lucky survivors, you might want to consider using this time to upgrade to processes, procedures and systems that allow you to weather the next storm. Kind of like rebuilding after a flood – French drains and a sump pump would be a good addition.
Sospes helps your organization go paper-less. We have launched a new vlog series with this in mind providing tips and ideas for managing the requirements of remote work environments, implementing paper-less processes and systems, and overall helping your organization succeed during crazy, unexpected times like COVID-19. Check back weekly for new videos!