Sometimes something comes along in life that’s both unexpected and beyond our control, such as COVID-19. We all had to make changes and adjust. Many of those changes are staying with us, and when it comes to our jobs, a lot of those changes are for the better. Let’s look at how COVID-19 has impacted the workforce in ways that may stay with us for quite a while.
The switch to working remotely for so many who never had to before is the first thing most of us think of when considering how COVID-19 has impacted the workforce. There’s good reason for those thoughts—leaving our offices to work from home every day was, and still is, a big deal. As things go back to normal, most companies continue to allow employees to work remotely, and many offer the choice of in-office or home or a flexible schedule. Here are some benefits of the impact of remote work:
It seems employees are quite productive when they can work from home in their pajamas. Many companies saw an increase in efficiency and production rather than a decline. This may be due to lowered stress levels and not having to commute.
The Family Stayed Together
Schools closed along with office buildings, and suddenly parents who never set out to homeschool were juggling both careers and school lessons. This became a pro and a con. Although this was stressful for many, it did cause many families to rethink their lifestyle, and some even chose to continue homeschooling when they no longer needed to. Either way, the time together was a positive and showed families they could get through anything. Without the remote work option for parents, the closing of schools would have been very tough.
Changes in Workspace
We created new spaces for ourselves at home for working remotely. Large closets, dining rooms, bedrooms, or empty corners became office spaces until we could figure out what to do. For employers, changes in workspace were and still are significant. With so many employees working remotely, what happens with all of the unused office space? For many, this has had a positive impact with a cost savings. There isn’t as much need for large office buildings anymore. There will always be some that continue to keep their doors open, but for many, the office will be downsized or closed altogether.
The pandemic forced many industries to become innovative in the way they think and carry out tasks. Technology is our new best friend for staying connected at work while still at home. Most of us became familiar with virtual meetings and even virtual interviews. Here’s a few other ways innovation has shined through COVID-19:
- Time clock software changed the way we track our time at work, and now helps employees know their hours are counted each day.
- Electronic signatures are the standard now and make transactions simple when no longer in person.
- Communication through virtual meetings, phone calls, texting, and chat rooms has kept everyone going and businesses thriving.
The pandemic could have stopped communication and connection, but instead, it inspired new ways of getting things done.
Many parents are now saving money on the cost of childcare because they are staying at home to work. It’s a lot to juggle, but for some, the stress of having to get everyone out the door, including themselves, every morning was way more stressful.
Respect for Other Jobs
We like to think we’ve always respected jobs different than our own, but we probably took some for granted before COVID-19—jobs like truckers who bring supplies all over the country, doctors and nurses on the front lines, and teachers who educate children all day. There’s a newfound respect everywhere, and that’s a beautiful thing.
An Appreciation for Coworkers
While away from the office, and for many who are still away, we learned to appreciate who we work with. Working from home can be lonely, and we’ve had to get creative to stay connected. Through connecting, there were times during COVID-19 that those virtual connections were all we had. Now, as people slowly go back to the office, and while some continue to stay home, there’s a new appreciation for those we know are going through the same thing and understand our ups and downs of working from home. Many days, it’s those quick, fun online chats with our coworkers that get us through.
Changes in Social Interactions
For those going back to work, things have changed a bit, socially. Some offices have said no handshakes for now, and desks are all six feet apart. Although most social gatherings have begun happening again, things look and feel different. Businesses are cautious, and wisely so.
If your office or company was prepared for a pandemic, you are in the minority. However, you can bet that all companies now have a plan in place. One thing COVID-19 taught the workforce is how to be prepared for anything. Many companies looked at what happened and put plans in place to cover many types of crises. No one wants to think of something awful happening but being unprepared only makes it worse.
COVID-19 was a surreal and tragic time for many. It changed people, places, and events in our lives forever. The workforce was widely affected and still is today. The best we can do with these changes is focus on the positives. Thankfully, as a result of COVID-19 and the negatives, there have been positive impacts on the workforce. It’s time to move forward and embrace our new remote work, innovative companies, and enjoy our newfound respect and appreciation for our coworkers and all of those around us, making an impact on our lives, often quietly behind the scenes.
TimeTrakGO was there when innovation was needed, and we’re still here today. We offer remote employee time clock solutions for simplicity of tracking time when working remotely. Contact us today to find the right remote system for your unique company.