It has been more than a year that the COVID19 pandemic hit us, and we all started working from home. Although many organizations have started to work in a hybrid model where employees can work from the office or home but are we ready to be back to work yet? Here are six bold predictions made by our President and Co-Founder of Engagedly, Srikant Chellappa.
1. People will feel less productive
People who got used to working alone and staying focussed on their tasks will feel more distractions, and will feel unproductive. In addition, if they had long commutes to work, that will eat away at their time they normally spent on being productive. However, there will be some who get energy from the presence of their co-workers and may feel engaged but their overall productivity will suffer.
There will be an adjustment period to get back to feeling productive around other people
2. We will see two types of people
People who are energized by working around other people and people who are annoyed by constant interruptions and time wasting commutes. The second type will be more inclined to choose to work from home at least few days a week.
Organizations will need to know what works best for their people based on their personality and work styles, and accommodate accordingly.
3. There will be more alignment and collaboration between people
While productivity will suffer for a while,
the good news is that people will be working on the “right things”.
There will be better alignment between teams and co-workers so there will be less wasted effort on things that don’t produce results. The trap, they can and, many will fall into is meeting overload and work conversation distractions that can take away from focussed and “deep work”.
4. People who are not at work will feel left out and may get demoralized
However, there will be some people who will choose to work from home most of the time may feel left out and may get misaligned from the group at work.
Some of them may feel disengaged or demoralized because they would feel they are not being included in important conversations and decision making.
Organizational leaders will need to make a concerted effort to ensure alignment for both these groups of people.
5. Many people will quit if they feel compelled to be at work
Some Managers and Organizational leaders will implore their team members to come to work. But because change is hard, many will choose to continue to work from home. Some Managers will make decisions without their input, because
They were not there when I had to make a decision.
These employees will eventually either become disengaged and their contributions will suffer Or they will quit. We will see an increase in people looking for change in their jobs and possibly even their careers.
6. It will take upto 18 months to feel like Pre-Covid
I fully expect people to start trickling into work by June with most organizational workplaces open by July. However, it won’t feel the same for the reasons mentioned above. Going back to feeling normal will take upto 18 months. Masks and social distancing will continue for several months. People will feel uncomfortable in crowded meetings (eg. All Hands). There will be a cohort who will only want to work in a hybrid environment for a very long time. Most Meetings that people used to “fly to” will continue to occur over zoom for a very long time.
It will probably be 2022 summer when post-covid feels more like pre-covid.
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