One year in, the coronavirus pandemic has permanently changed our business attitudes, directions, mindsets, and behaviors. COVID-19 has caused businesses to make critical decisions, resulting in changes in practices that will stay with us long after the pandemic is over.
A new report conducted by Freeform Dynamics for Cisco, titled “A New Perspective in the Modern Workplace” explores the significant impact COVID-19 has had on businesses, including changes in work behavior.
Key Lesson We Learned From COVID
To help clarify the changes and help businesses come out of this stronger, the Freeform Dynamics report identified key lessons we should consider moving forward.
- Business Agility is Crucial – COVID-19 taught us the importance of agility and being able to adapt and respond quickly to rapidly evolving events. This unprecedented event helped companies to realize the importance of being able to shift gears when necessary.
- The Value of Technology – We also became acutely aware of the importance of technology. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of technologies like cloud-based communications, productivity tools and collaboration. The study also found the 58% of respondents said they ended up using technology that was already available but previously rejected. Ultimately, digital collaboration tools will remain a staple post-pandemic, especially video conferencing!
- The True Nature of Productivity – Working from home unveiled the number of distractions in the office. Many workers found themselves being more productive working from home without the interruptions found in the office. Remote work also identified many healthy practices which will stay post-pandemic, including management trusting employees more, flex time, collaboration across teams and departments, and team agility.
- The Importance of Social Interaction – While digital collaboration tools have helped us get through this and will continue post-pandemic, the new way of work has reinforced the need for social interaction. The report found that 64% cited the loss of water-cooler exchanges as challenging. To mitigate this, respondents said they host social video conferencing meets, use social chat channels, and participate in interactive competitions.
While challenges will remain and new ones will be uncovered as we move through the end stages of the pandemic, the lessons we’ve learned along the way have already changed the way we conduct business, how we measure productivity, and the importance of a better work/life balance. As we move forward, businesses should take these lessons into account to help boost workplace maturity and resiliency in the future.