Check out the four biggest changes to the way we work.
1. Uptake of technology
When millions of people around the world were told to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they used technology to adapt their way of working. Working as a team when working remotely heavily relies on online tools. Face-to-face meetings were replaced with online conference calls via platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams which enable staff to access meetings from their living rooms, saving time and money. These online platforms overcame the barriers of remote working and kept people connected. They made working from home more convenient by allowing colleagues to keep working together on projects.
2. Work-life balance
When businesses decided it was unsafe to go to the office, many employees and employers worked from home for the first time. This meant that they didn’t need to spend hours of their day on public transport or stuck in traffic on the motorway. Thousands of people were left with more time and, in some cases, a better work-life balance. With more time in the day, staff were able to spend time doing what they enjoy when they would normally be travelling home from work. For some people this meant that they could sleep for longer and spend more time making breakfast or walking their dog before logging on to their laptop.
While you might think that working from home would limit communication with colleagues, this wasn’t always the case. By forcing businesses to shift to remote working, the pandemic showed employers and employees that strong communication can still take place away from the office. Working from home allowed many businesses to explore different collaboration tools, which have allowed meetings and discussions to take place online. The tools have also provided a space for colleagues to socialise. They can call each other to have conversations that they would have had in the office or during their lunch hour so that they don’t miss out on talking about their lives as well as their work.
Traditionally, employers have been reluctant to embrace working from home and flexible hours. Remote working requires the employer to trust that their staff will continue to be productive and deliver quality work when they’re out of sight. By trialling working from home throughout the pandemic, employers may be more likely to trust staff to work from home in the future. This could lead to more opportunities for flexible working. Working from home is not for everyone, but many people have now had the opportunity to learn to manage their time and adapt to a different working environment. They may have even been more productive. The COVID-19 pandemic has proved that there isn’t just one way to work anymore, there are many.
The way we work changed with different lockdown measures being implemented around the world and, for some businesses, it may have changed the way they work for good.
For more tips on working from home, see ourhow to be productive when you’re working from home.
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- Publication date
- 18 June 2020
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Business / EntrepreneurshipHints and tipsNews/reports/statistics
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