More people working from home
There is no doubt that a seismic shift in the workplace took place in March of 2020 with the shutdowns at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. In the flurry of the first few weeks, people were putting together make-shift offices in their homes and apartments, juggling kids’ schooling with client meetings and just making do for what they thought would be for just a few weeks. But in some places, weeks stretched into months and we’re now going on a year of social distancing and working from home.
Needless to say, employers and companies have learned to adjust to having most of their workforce working remotely or on alternating shifts.
Companies have stuck to remote work
Even many months into the pandemic and as some cities and states began to re-open, many companies opted to keep their workforce in remote work mode. Rather than navigating complicated reopening guidelines or gabmling with the health of their employees, many companies opted to keep them home or put them on modified schedules where they alternated coming in. There is much data that supports the idea that this will continue to be commonplace even after the pandemic has receded and people are vaccinated.
Workers transformed spaces in their home into home offices
Because families suddenly found themselves all at home all of the time, there was quite a bit of creativity when it came to carving out office space as well as classroom space for kids getting their schooling online. Many families designated spare bedrooms into office spaces and some even finished their basements to create more livable space. These basement offices or makeshift classrooms made it possible to keep everyone productive and sane! We talked to the team over at Basement Finishing Omaha and they saw an uptick in the amount of calls they were getting from homeowners looking to finish their basement during the pandemic.
And for those without the option of redoing their basement? Well, they carved out space in their bedrooms, living rooms and some even worked in their bathrooms when they needed a quiet place for calls or meetings.
Less commuting lead to more productivity
Another huge shift that has taken place during the pandemic is that people are having to spend less time on their way to and from work. This has freed up a lot of time for them to do things they normally wouldn’t be able to do. This translated into more time to exercise, cook, read or spend time on other hobbies. However, it also allowed for more productive time while “on the clock”. Not having to fight through an hour of traffic every day, opened up time and mental energy to focus on the most important things to accomplish during the day both at work and personally.
Virtual meetings continue to be the norm
Some would say that remote meetings have been the bane of the pandemic work shift. And, sometimes people feel like their days are filled with endless Zoom meetings that maybe could have been an email. But, whether you are a fan or not, virtual meetings have allowed work teams to not only communicate, but to stay connected. That sense of community most people experience as part of their work life, could have evaporated during the long quarantine if it hadn’t been for this technology. Virtual meetings have allowed for training and team collaborations to continue despite being in different locations. With many workplaces making the permanent switch to remote work for a large portion of their work force virtual meetings appear to be a part of work culture that is here to stay.
What are some other shifts you have seen take place during the pandemic?