The COVID pandemic is slowly becoming less widespread and omnipresent. The long-awaited transition towards an endemic and, eventually, normalcy might look different in different places. Still, one thing is for sure – until we reach another turning point, the workplace will remain forever changed by COVID.
The following five trends will define the post-pandemic workplace.
1. Organizational resilience is the new KPI
Before 2020, thriving organizations were the ones with the best and most efficient workflows.
Employee roles and workflow management were designed to allow organizations to reach their maximum not only every quartal but every day. A goal had to be achieved on an everyday level. Efficiency was the most employed and the most rigid strategy for attaining long-term objectives.
COVID made us realize that an efficiency-based approach is not the most flexible one.
In the future, successful organizations will emphasize resilience instead of efficiency. Rather than chasing daily goals, employees will be encouraged to find adaptive workflows that will allow them to change shifts or courses on an on-need basis. KPIs will be measured through flexibility and agility.
2. Half the workforce will continue to Zoom in
According to multiple surveys and studies, at least half of the workforce will continue to work remotely after the pandemic ends. A Gartner poll specifies that this will likely be the case for 41% of employees. The potential for long-term remote work and its benefits is the greatest in more advanced economies.
The comprehensive research conducted by McKinsey – enveloping 800 jobs in nine countries – claims that hybrid models will have the highest adoption rate among “the highly-educated, well-paid majority of the workforce”. Still, all organizations will have to adjust to capture productivity gains from remote work.
How are organizations adjusting their practices?
Aside from employing collaborative technology and fluid productivity management strategies, just to name a few significant changes, organizations are also learning to rely on employee data collection and analysis to track employee progress and measure productivity on individual and team levels.
3. Data collection and workforce analytics
The applications for employee data collection are endless.
Employee data is such a major trend that it means several different things to different organizations. In terms of workforce analysis, employee data collection helps HR teams and entire organizations monitor productivity and gather insight into employees’ needs and pain points.
Employee experiences and excellence are seemingly more important than ever. As COVID continues to pose significant financial challenges to organizations big and small, employers are going one extra mile in finding and retaining top talent. To keep the best minds, organizations must know how they think first.
That being said, employee data collection is crucial for talent sourcing as well.
Employers are leaning on web data scrapers to provide them with contact lists and CVs, as well as the career preferences of the most desirable employees from all over the world. In this context, employee data helps track talent movement, increase recruitment efforts, and generate better investment signals.
4. Talent sharing and 80% pay for 80% work
Employee data can also help organizations discover ambitious gig workers and set up short-term management systems for tracking and evaluating these employees. Contingent workers and on-demand employees have returned in great numbers due to unstable economies in the post-lockdown era.
Models like this, but also 80% pay for 80% work and talent sharing, might become prevalent in years to come. It’s a cost-effective way of filling skill gaps. Moreover, it allows employers to care for their furloughed employees while simultaneously providing weakened industries with a diligent workforce.
5. The shift in the employee-employer relationship
Talent sharing programs are an excellent example of how employers are becoming more supportive and accommodating to their employees and their financial and personal struggles. The COVID pandemic has triggered a significant shift in the employee-employer relationship, which is a lot more caring than before.
Organizations that haven’t been heavily impacted by lockdown continue to help communities stand back on their feet. They provide financial means and goods to endangered families and support their workers who are struggling with prolonged COVID, financial crisis, or the loss of a family member.
This level of involvement and readiness to provide community service will change how employees see employers in the future and how employers brand themselves. This “human touch” will become a decisive differentiation point for attracting the best talent and reducing turnover rates to a minimum.
Regardless of how hard the pandemic has affected them, all organizations looking forward must take into account these employee trends and reorganize accordingly. The shifts mentioned above in employee expectations and employer requirements are not trivial nor fleeting. They are here to stay.
For better or for worse, they can disrupt HR as we know it.