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October 25th • 3 min read
#Change #Corporate culture #Workplace

Positive Outcomes of the Post-Pandemic World

It's been 20 months since the pandemic arrived. And rather than returning to normal, we find ourselves juggling between uncertainty and constant shifts – outbreaks, lockdowns, shortages, budget cuts, new virus strains, new vaccines, and evolving restrictions. Just when we think we’ve got it figured out, the world changes again in the blink of an eye. So while it’s easy to get caught up in a virtual cycle of anxiety, why not focus on some of the unexpected benefits that will boost our mood?
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Changing the world of work.

No matter how you look at it, the pandemic accelerated change. Rapid digital changes. Despite the Internet of Things and our global inter-connectivity, the potential of borderless business was untapped. Many companies still preferred an office-first culture and virtual teams hadn’t been given the opportunity to take off. Given the forced closures of many businesses and offices, employees and employers were forced to embrace a working style they were unfamiliar with. While adjusting always takes time, as it turns out many companies and people learned to make it work and even enjoy a remote-first culture.

 

A surprising way to hack better productivity.

The myth that working from home (wfh) is less productive has been shattered. In fact, 45% of people who have been working remotely believe their productivity has increased without the steady stream of interruptions that come with offices – especially office-less offices (open space concepts). And as it turns out being able to better work while working from creates better work-life balance. 69% of Australians experienced a better work-life balance in the wfh lifestyle and credit a lack of commute. On average, wfh Americans save an average of 49.6 minutes a day, or a whopping This translates into more than eight days per year! Those with the longer commute times also enjoyed the wfh the most, which leaves us thinking it’s not always the office but the time wasted travelling. .

 

Hybrid work models are on the rise.

Many companies caught on to efficiencies inherent in the opportunity to reduce the number of days staff attended work in the office. The savings available by reducing office sizes and relocating further out of city centres is a smart move. . Companies and staff are designing models that blend time for collaboration and independent productivity to maximise success. And it has an unexpected spillover effect. The traditional 9-5 is fading and people are aligning their work demands with their peak brain power hours to hit new levels of efficiency while creating a lifestyle that makes them happiest. Progressive companies are prioritising a performance-driven culture where results are king and looking busy is out.

 

Combating global warming is the icing on the cake.

The planet is pretty stoked today. Post-COVID remote workers are saving 32.9 million hours of car commuting per day in the US alone. Reducing our carbon footprint and embracing sustainability is a passion many people are excited about as well. WWF Germany estimated that just one day wfh could save 1.6 million tonnes CO2 equivalent per year!

A healthier life.

Workers can dedicate free time to personal activities or new hobbies. People can choose to improve their diet, spend more time with their kids or use the time to exercise. If you're not feeling like a chef or an athlete, that's totally ok too. Maybe your time can be invested in better sleep hygiene, more social activities, home improvements, or even volunteering in your community.

A more prominent place for mental health.

Going through intense periods of sudden change and prolonged uncertainty is hard. It wreaks havoc on our mental health. Adapting to change always takes time and is never easy, not to mention fighting feelings of worry, anxiety, and stress. But the good news is that mental health is becoming a more popular topic with more dedicated resources. In a recent McKinsey survey, about half of employers indicate that mental health is a top corporate/CEO priority. And employees are feeling that it’s time to make it a priority with 80% of remote workers ready to consider changing jobs for a workplace more focused on employee mental health. It will be exciting to see what programs emerge as workplaces normalise internal practices to protect and boost mental health.

 

Accelerating innovations and driving business disruption.

COVID has accelerated change that was already on the horizon. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, the top areas that advanced by leaps and bounds include: 1. the digitization of their customer, 2. The improvement of supply-chain solutions and 3. internal operations. All of these areas experienced rapid advancement by three to four years. Clever businesses have used the pandemic to find opportunities to pivot, expand, specialiase or even re-invent themselves.

 

Social corporate responsibility (CSR) at the centre.

The pandemic highlighted social inequality from healthcare to food access to education. Since knowledge is power when applied correctly, more companies are investing this year in shaping a better future. The crisis has become an urgent call to action to test how seriously companies are taking their CSR commitments. Just like green-washing, CSR-washing will be faded out as people call for transparency for business CSR reports.

 

Now that we’re aware that we can pivot, innovate, and collaborate from anywhere in the world, companies are gearing up for the great re-alignment. Winning the war on talent will be easier for companies that are quick to respond to the new climate. In fact, when handled well this can become a competitive advantage to attract and retain the best staff. The great resignation (link to Zoe's article when published) is a sign of what’s to come in terms aligning workplaces with employee values and no longer just the other way around. The work-life balance revolution is only just beginning.

 

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Manon Capitaine

Email + Marketing Operations Specialist

Technical native with ninja-like project management skills. She drives technology like she built it and specialises in smoothing out the digital experience. Disorganisation is her nemesis. A beer aficionado, she can be found brewing (and sampling) craft beers.

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