At the start of the 2020s, we’ve experienced about a decade’s worth of change in just a few months. Keeping abreast of all of the best practices and developments, therefore, is difficult to do – because much received wisdom is being made up on the fly.
If you’re considering starting a new business, then you’ll want to arrange it in such a way that it matches with an unfolding pandemic. But it’s also import that the organisation is fit for a post-Covid world.
So, what does this mean in practice?
The jury is out on whether home working is here to stay. For some sorts of work, face to face contact can be dispensed with entirely; for others, it’s absolutely critical. Having grown accustomed to the mental health benefits of skipping the commute and choosing their own sleeping hours, many workers may be unwilling to return to the (often unhealthy) working hours that they kept before. Commutes, moreover, can be environmentally unfriendly and financially burdensome.
In a poll by EU Startups, 83% of those asked responded that they expected more than 25% of the population to continue remote work. Moreover, data from Station F found that 47% of companies plan to upscale remote working to suit the new age.
With remote working widespread, the technology to support it will become more important than ever. We should expect greater emphasis to be placed on broadband infrastructure projects and innovations like 5G, and to become more familiar with software packages like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Legal innovation and technology will ensure that businesses are able to keep on the right side of the law without the need for face-to-face contact with solicitors.
Hygiene and cleanliness
For the foreseeable future, getting everything clean is a requirement. Dirty surfaces provide a transmission medium for harmful pathogens, including the novel coronavirus. It’s likely that many of the habits we adhere to during the pandemic will persist after it – though cleaning contractors might expect a lull in demand after the worst is over.
Fewer open-plan offices
The open-plan office was first popularised back in the 1980s. We’ve all become familiar with the idea of sharing a workspace with other people. Being in an open plan allows for easier conversation and easier supervision. But the pandemic might be enough to push the dial back in the other direction. It’s not that we’ll dispense with shared social spaces at work altogether – we might just restrict them to certain break areas.
Hiring may be difficult
Certain industries might find themselves unable to gain access to the talent they need. Among the more damaging consequences of the virus in the long-term may be the joblessness it creates. Many would-be employees might hesitate before joining an unfamiliar work environment – which, if your workplace depends on a select pool of talent, might be a major problem.