Published in El Pais, 24 March 2021.
Regardless of where you work you will have seen a change in the workplace. Working from home has been the norm for almost a year for those who can and for those who cannot have seen added protective gear to their uniform to prevent infection. Whe1n the pandemic ends, yes it will end, many things will go back to normal but there are a few that will stick around long after its safe to mingle again.
1. Work from home
Some businesses have already pledged to get rid of the office for good. The benefits to the employee are enticing as they can save money and time on commuting and work in the comfort of your own home. The benefit to the business is that they no longer have to rent out a large expensive retail office and can attract potential employees that live outside of their city. Which leads us to our next point.
2. International work force
This one may be tricky due to regulations and visa requirements but companies may be more tempted to hire workers from around the world. This one is definitely controversial as it can allow companies to seek cheaper labour from lower incomed nations. I did not say that all changes will all be good.
3. Sick days
This pandemic has shown what a sick workforce can do to productivity. The fact is we will be facing diseases long after this illness is over and while you may not die from that cold it will certainly make you a less productive worker and if the whole workplace starts to sniffle things may be in trouble. Sick days will become more normal without government regulation as they realize a worker coming in sick will do more harm than good.
4. Virus prevention
The prevention of illness will become a normal part of health and safety training along with accidents and falls. Face masks, temperature checks and sanitization will make occasional comebacks during high instances of cold and flu especially with the global population becoming accustomed to these procedures.
Some people like the changes the pandemic has brought, others not so much, regardless of your opinion there will likely be little you can do to stop these changes.