A new way to work
What's the point of leasing or buying a massive office space if it's no longer safe to fill it with people? Even after the pandemic, companies may continue to encourage teleworking to cut real estate costs. Companies may opt for smaller offices or to use co-working spaces where people only come in to collaborate or for in-person meetings.
Many offices were structured to bring employees together, but in the era of social distancing employers need to keep them apart. Conference rooms and casual gathering areas may be closed or turned into workspaces. Plexiglass dividers may break up open floorplans.
Work From Home Continues
Even after a vaccine is created, some work from home changes will remain permanent because there are cost benefits to the company. Also, now that companies see it can be done, they can offer work from home flexibility as a perk to retain or attract quality employees.
If you were skating by on your interpersonal skills, things may not be as easy for you going forward. Without happy hours and watercooler chat, employees may have to put those soft skills on the backburner and focus on getting the job done instead.
The pandemic has forced many old-school companies to modernize and move more communication online. Those meetings that could have really been an email may actually end up being an email in the future.
There will be no "take your daughter to work" days anytime soon. And you can probably forget about in-person client and vendor meetings, too. The last thing a business wants to do is close down again after reopening.
Getting employees back in the office will also depend on a number of outside factors. Without schools open, reliable childcare or mass transit options, some employees just may not be able to physically come back into the office. Companies will also have to factor in underlying health conditions when deciding who should be called back in.
The pandemic has forced the union of many people's personal and professional lives. Now that we've seen our coworkers juggling childcare and project deadlines, we may be more flexible going forward. Casual office dress codes could also be more common.