The world evolves every day, but some events make certain changes come abruptly. In the 20th century, things were never the same after the second World War. And no doubt things will change for good now, after this COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the things that will change is the way we work, and where we work from. Many companies will realise that they no longer need to pay whopping rents for offices in the centre of capital cities, as people can be as efficient working remotely.
But if the cost saving will be good news for companies, and the avoidance of daily commutes will please employees, the situation will pose some challenges, namely around two key things: employee engagement and technology.
1. Employee Engagement
The experience of working for a company will be completely different if people work remotely and don’t have much face-time – for internal meetings, client workshops, even coffee-breaks or team building activities.
In a not completely unlikely situation, people could even spend their whole tenure at a company without physically meeting their colleagues. We see today, many people being interviewed and hired over video-conference.
So the paradigm for Employee Engagement needs to change. HR and XM specialists will be asked by companies to come up with different ways of getting their employees to “feel the company”, “live the culture” and “wear the jersey“.
This will impact the strategy, approach, and tactics used in current Employee Experience programs – be it lifecyle (e.g. on-boarding, exit), 360, or pulses. And technology will play an even bigger role in the enablement of this.
But if things change the way we envisage, and more companies and people adopt remote work, technology will no longer be just an enabler (something that makes it possible for a particular thing to happen or be done), it will be pivotal.
Employees will not be able to do their work without technology – I’m thinking not only of Software but also of Hardware. And this will demand technology companies to develop their platforms and devices even further, making them more powerful.
What we achieved, technology-wise, in the last 2 decades (since the Personal Computer and the World Wide Web got married) is absolutely astonishing. With that, remote working today wasn’t possible. But technology is only developing at a possible pace.
The expectation is that this crisis and the changes that will come as a consequence of it, will give a gigantic push for technology development to accelerate massively, and for its power to become unthinkable… but necessary to cope with the new normal.