The pandemic we are currently in is like nothing we have seen before. It’s a terrible crisis, but it also presents an opportunity to change the way we do things and change the way we think.

This is an uncertain time and people are looking for clarity, communication and confidence that things are going to be okay. Individuals and businesses have been forced to adapt to changes, implementing new processes and procedures and changing the way they operate. 

Communicating effectively is key during a time like this, as well as being open and honest to both customers and internal staff. This will build trust and help maintain relationships, both internally and externally.

Adjusting your strategy

There has been a lot of changes occur during the past 6 months as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19. A lot of these changes can be stressful, however the best thing that we can do as a collective is to look forward and proactively plan as best as we can, having clear and concise strategies that align with the way the world is going.

Workplace Changes

Some of the changes we have seen have been minimal, and some quite significant. I was speaking to a client the other day who told me she has wanted to go paperless for the past 5 years, and since COVID-19 hit, they had no choice and are almost completely paperless now. We also saw the majority of the corporate workforce transition into working from home almost instantly. The city became a ghost town very quickly and the agility to move that quickly has been phenomenal.

Technology has held things together in a way and kept us connected. Increasingly sophisticated digital technologies such as video conferencing and messaging platforms, supported by traditional email, have enabled us to perform office work effectively from anywhere.

We have seen the COVID-19 pandemic accelerate our transition to the future of work. It is vital that businesses think about their workplace ecosystem, integrating both physical and digital worlds. The following principles are key to consider moving forward:

  • Workplace wellbeing is highly important, both from a mental health perspective as well as ensuring workplace culture is inclusive
  • A sense of place or a ‘home ground’ is essential to develop a community and establish productive everyday routines
  • The continuity of using both physical and virtual communication forms is paramount
  • Informal and formal collaborative spaces will be increasingly valued
  • Learning through and with others at work in collaborative settings is ideal
  • Workplace strategy and design is critical in supporting values, culture and work activities essential for creating value

In a world going through immense change, fuelled by economic drivers and a significant rise in technology, COVID-19 is accelerating the transition of how and where we work. Now, more than ever, it is important to ensure an effective workplace strategy is in place and everyone is on board with the changes occurring.

Stephanie Papageorgiou

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