Work Practices and Covid-19
There has been a lot of discussion recently about how the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated trends already in motion prior to the pandemic.
Take remote working. Employers have embraced it while both organisations and employees have become much more adept at it. Mainstream thinking on what constitutes acceptable work practices got challenged by necessity. The reaction was swift and the results eye-opening. The pandemic created a complex, multifaceted and adaptive set of problems that called for novel solutions. As a result, tech enabled work practices took root even among people who previously had an aversion to remote delivery of content or virtual professional interaction:
-the teacher who delivered online courses for the first time and overcame her aversion to creating relevant content.
-the psychoanalyst who routinely denigrated the possibility of doing sessions with patients online but realised that while not necessarily optimal or desirable, meeting virtually may be an acceptable alternative if a face-to-face session is not an option.
-the publishing executive who comfortably completed her quota of papers to review without the need for a lengthy commute into central London.
Indeed, during the pandemic more people realised that staying productive meant staying connected, giving up any qualms they may have had. Necessity trumps reluctance every time, especially when your health and very livelihood are under threat.
There is talk of the death of the physical office and a looming “post-city” age but perhaps such predictions are somewhat pre-mature. What is perhaps not, is the realisation that post Convid-19, workplace practices will not merely return to the status quo ante.