In 2020, we all faced unprecedented challenges in every area of our lives. From lockdowns and homeschooling the kids to being sent home to work, the pandemic has also caused us to change our business’s directions, behavior, and attitudes. We’ve had to make decisions we never thought we’d need to make, and the results will be part of the new normal long after the pandemic’s end.
A report prepared for Cisco by Freeform Dynamics titled A New Perspective in the Modern Workplace examines in-depth the impact COVID-19 has had on business, including work behaviors.
What We’ve Learned
This report helped to identify and clarify changes that can help businesses to come out of this crisis stronger. Here are some of the key lessons we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Importance of Agility
The pandemic has taught us the importance of agility and being able to adapt to rapidly changing events. COVID-19 helped us to realize how important it is to be able to shift business models when needed.
The Importance of Technology
Remote work accelerated the acceptance of technologies like cloud-based collaboration and communications, as well as technology-based productivity tools. The Freeform Dynamics report found that 58% of respondents said they found themselves using available technologies that had been previously rejected. Tools, especially video conferencing, will remain in use post-pandemic.
The New Measure of Productivity
Remote work brought attention to the actual number of distractions in the office. Many who were sent home found they were more productive working from home without the usual distractions. Remote work also identified practices that will remain post-pandemic, like increased trust by management, flex time, and cross-team / cross-department collaboration.
The Importance of Social Interaction
Digital tools helped us to get through and will continue to help post-pandemic. The new normal has reinforced the need for social interaction. The report found that 64% of respondents missed water-cooler interactions. Many respondents turned to social video, social chat channels, and online interactive competitions to counter social distancing.
As we move through the pandemic, some challenges will remain, and new ones will pop up. The lessons we’ve learned have changed how we work, measure productivity, and emphasized the importance of work/life balance. Moving forward, these lessons learned can help businesses boost productivity, efficiency, and resiliency into the future.
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