COVID-19 has been an unprecedented situation that pushed us for drastic measures.
One of the most significant changes has been the acceptance of technology, even for those who resisted first.
Technology and virtual connection became a new normal; it was the only way to survive the pandemic and keep the economy going. The worst crisis of a century pushed us towards the next level of incorporating unconventional ways into our lives and made us rethink our priorities as businesses and individuals.
As businesses move towards the virtual work culture, they realized virtual workspaces are a more practical and economically sustainable business model. Across the globe, this management style has led to a boom in the virtual work market and fundamental changes to shape employee-employer relationships in the post-pandemic world.
Most of the renowned multinational companies have already started bifurcating their employees as compatible with remote work and not compatible with their remote work; this means that even after the pandemic and lockdown restriction are lifted, we will see more and more people working from their home offices.
According to a recent survey, approximately 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible with remote work, which makes the majority of the jobs a possible virtual role.
Virtual Work has become a more accepted phenomenon across borders. Here are few scenarios that you can expect in the virtual work world:
With mandatory lockdown, corporations were forced to move away from the 90’s mindset and adopt new ways of doing things at an organizational level. Work from home was no longer a privilege; it was a necessity. After 18 months into the pandemic, businesses realized the benefits of virtual workspace and understood that employee’s efficiency is not determined by their workspace.
Work from home will become the new normal and will no longer be treated as one of the perks for the job. It will become a requirement for the employees to be independent enough to work in the virtual space and keep their efficiency at the highest.
In most of our office cultures, time spent within the office was one of the major criteria to determine an employee’s efficiency at work. This mindset will change, and the focus will shift to a delivery-based system.
Businesses will focus on creating systems that measure productivity based on what you have delivered and at what quality, rather than how much time you have spent on that work. But, unfortunately, it also means that employees will have to bear the cost of the ‘learning curve’ and have to compensate for the hours lost in learning.
With the virtual space becoming more crowded, people will miss the physical human interaction and the bond they share at the workplace. It will create an emotional gap and a significant reduction in long-term employees.
The factor that recruitment processes will also move to the virtual space, switching the job will become much easier, and the employees will tend to move on.
Virtual employees will become a new reality for businesses as a cost-friendly and economically viable option across all company sizes. Still, the offices will not go away – they are here to stay too.
Initially, you will see tremendous growth in work from home jobs. But after a couple of years, businesses will focus more on creating a hybrid system that will allow employees to choose their work location and, if required, access the physical office.
The future holds a mixed workforce with more flexibility and work-driven culture rather than time-based jobs.
Luke Fitzpatrick has been published in Forbes, Yahoo! News and Influencive. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.