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How Leaders Can Navigate the Post-Pandemic World of Work

As the world is going through “the new normal”, we all have some fears and concerns: what will it be like to adjust to the post-pandemic workplace?

It is clear that COVID 19 has deeply impacted our lives–and it is not going to over any time soon.

Perhaps the only way to deal with this new scenario is to learn to adapt the same way our ancestors used to do following every major period of upheaval throughout history–from plagues, wars, to economic depression and droughts.

The way we interact with the world has become changed to a great extent, and nowhere is this more prevailing than in our workplaces. We might not see that “business as usual” scenario soon. Instead, you are going to see some changes in every aspect of the workplace, from corporate travel to meeting strategies and office design.

Keeping this in mind, here’s how leaders can navigate the post-pandemic workplace.

Consider Risk Management:

Let’s accept it. Insurance is sold just because of fear, the pandemic has raised public fear to new heights.

As businesses struggle to adjust to the dynamic nature of the crisis, the role of the risk advisor will become more crucial than ever in both emergency and mitigation of potential risks.

Assessing your client’s needs from a holistic perspective– which includes the pandemic’s effect on your staff, finances, and business models–will help you determine potential sources of risk and create a comprehensive risk management plan according to your insights.

Embrace the New Ways of Working:

According to one report, the average number of employees working from home has risen from 4% to a whopping 90% during the pandemic, and 80% of them wished to continue to work from home rather than going back to the office.

It has also been found that work from home has minimized overhead costs while improving productivity. Besides, it has helped companies attract and retain experienced and talented employees. Given that work from home has become a norm, leaders will have to consider if the office is really necessary.

Some may need an office for their meetings, gatherings, and other sorts of collaborative work. Or the employees can be allowed to do concentrative work at home or in a private office. The workplaces in the future are likely to accommodate social distancing, with more private spaces, large hallways, and increased emphasis on seating.

Prefer Technology Over Travel:

According to one study, it could take a decade or two for this generation to overcome the “fear of being with others”. Thanks to the coronavirus, the days of visiting a regional office for an afternoon meeting are over.

Corporate travel expenses will be all but minimized in favor of technology that lets employees integrate and collaborate while practicing social distancing. And there are plenty of tools to put that into practice such as Trello, Slack, and Microsoft Teams. These tools come with features such as messaging, video conferencing, document sharing, and email, thereby promoting collaboration.

You being a leader or employer should encourage your employees to use these tools as well as participate in virtual communities. It will help you keep your employees motivated, engaged and develop a growth-oriented mindset. Capitalizing on technology to maintain human interaction will be more crucial than ever in a post-pandemic world of work.

Switch to a “We” Focus Approach:

One of the key lessons of Covid-19 is that we are far more interconnected than we assume. You have to positively influence the people you lead and the community in which you operate. You need to switch from an “I” focus approach to a “we” focus approach, where you assess the situations holistically, considering all the people involved.

For example, in determining whether to return to the workplace, with a “we” focus, you would have the varying needs of the people you lead. Maybe some of them are dealing with personal issues such as child care, elderly care, financial problems, or health issues.

As “we” focus lets you approach your decisions with vast empathy for different experiences of people.