Getting ready for the day after Covid19
The day after Covid is as unexpectedly close, as the day we first heard of social distancing (~30 earth days in Israel, translates roughly to 333 covid days).
The majority of companies (as governments) were unprepared for a crisis, especially for a global one felt in the (exact) same manner. We will continue to deal with outfalls for at least three months, after full release of lockdown limitations.
Although Tech will be the quickest industry to jump back to routine, accommodating services will not. Covid reality demands policies to be updated and reinvented. Do not expect your employees to immediately bounce back to a pre-covid routine, that reality no longer exists.
The world has changed and so has the workforce. Adapt, evolve, repeat.
Things to take into consideration while preparing for the day after, ensuring your team an easier return (while following government instructions); 1. Lack and fear of public transportation - seek alternative options (carpooling, rented cars, minivan shuttle services, etc..)
2. Caretakers - children, parents and grandparents have been and will need to continue to be dependent on their immediate family for a while. Will ‘corporate’ lead change?
3. Office equipment - needed to easily work from home + the office simultaneously
4. Physical Health - healthy food accommodations, enforcing ill feeling employees to stay home, available hygiene solutions
5. Mental Health - stress, burnout, loss, change and economic insecurity levels are high
6. Reorganizing office layouts
While there is no scientific reasoning for open space work environments, there is an overwhelming amount of research concluding that open space leads to: constant distractions; productivity reducing; increase in sick days; team frictions and more.
Open space working environments were introduced over a decade ago, with the rise of dot com and SaaS, following Facebook and competitors it later on acquired, believing this is a key piece to their rapid success. The unspoken rule, categories open space as a cool startup, whereas anything else is outdated/corporate. Truth is, the majority of employees hate open space, while VC's love the cost effectiveness of it. Placing a group of introverts, equipped with noise cancelling headphones and a couple 32 inch screens, in an open space, in hopes for better team collaboration. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?
The good: The more sustainable orgs have been approaching this reality gracefully and agily, whilst maintaining transparency, open communication, mutual trust and fairness. Kudos: My Heritage, Palo Alto, Via, to name a few
Alongside a few investor's premature panic memos, we are witnessing companies successfully completing fund raising rounds, and a variety of new startups aimed to assist vulnerable communities (e.g. clanz.io).
The near future:
Based on research I conducted six months ago, 'perks', are not what drives job seekers. I foresee an increase in employees seeking a workplace that involves good-doing, providing a sense of purpose, whilst taking into consideration flexibility.
I also foresee employers abusing their (temporary) power over those in need for a job, taking advantage and covering it up as “Covid aftermath”.
Adaption of 4 day (work) week.
Everyone currently struggling, please remember that this IS NOT a preview or an example of working from home or work life balance. It’s the exact opposite of that. Boundaries are blurry AF, which is natural during times of crisis. Be aware and be intentional on recreating boundaries that match the post-covid-workforce
Shopping centers will transform into Co-op working spaces with food courts and ‘store markets’ (see Macy’s current physical market for reference)
On a personal note In a scenario where Covid/Coronavirus completely passes before 2020 does, please involve local small-medium businesses, artists, markets, suppliers, event producers and so on, if you conduct your annual end-of-the-year-extravaganza.
Lastly, orgs that were hit and recover, consider compensating employees for salary cuts with company stock (shares, not options)
How has your org been handling communication and transparency these days?
Thoughts? Share them!
* company names listed are not clients, nor is this an ad.