We’ll be seeing many changes in the world of work post-COVID-19. Most organisations will need to rethink their business strategies and how these will impact the careers of their employees
- GOODBYE TO CLOCK-WATCHING
Organisations will realise that employees can actually work successfully – and perhaps even more productively – from home and that the old mindset of managing staff via clocking systems/fingerprint scanning is long gone.
- FRUITLESS AND WASTEFUL EXPENDITURE
Organisations will also realise that business travel may actually be a waste of company money and that meetings in other cities can take place via video calls and teleconferencing. Companies will revisit their travel policies and only approve critical business trips that relate directly to acquiring or retaining an important customer in a face-to-face meeting.
Organisations will also look at optimising their office space and shift away from the traditional cubicle/floor plan. They’ll realise that when employees actually need to be present on the premises, a few workstations used on a first-come, first-served basis will suffice. Nobody will require a dedicated, permanent space for their exclusive use. Only critical office-bound spaces for receptionists and other customer-facing employees will be needed. This could save companies a fortune in rentals.
- HEALTH AND WELLNESS WILL BECOME REAL PRIORITIES
Health and safety will move to the top of company regulations, as promulgated in Government Gazette No 43247 on 29 April this year, which stipulates that critical health and safety measures must be adhered to by organisations which have employees working on their premises (eg factories). Organisations will have to amend their health and safety policies to comply with new and stringent measures.
- LEAN MACHINES
Organisations will need to restructure and most are likely to retrench. We’ve already seen the likes of SAA, Edcon and certain banking institutions closing their branches because of digitalisation. With the increasing rise of automation, online banking, shopping and services will become commonplace. However, there’ll be a concomitant need for new positions in IT, online customer community management, etc.
- STRATEGIC TIMELINES
Only a few organisations will emerge from the COVID-19 upheaval intact. The rest will have to adapt or die as the new world of work takes shape. We’ve been anticipating this shift for the past 15 years, but it took a global health crisis to accelerate it. This is the world of automation, digitalisation and artificial intelligence and it will require a new type of leader.
The key skills that will be needed in future management will be creativity, innovation, critical thinking, digital and coding skills, people management, leadership development and emotional intelligence.
Organisation will have to examine their cultures and assess whether they’re ready to enter this brave, daunting, but exciting new world of work.