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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

What Will COVID-19 Crisis Mean for The Future of Remote Work

The covid-19 pandemic continues to affect most different areas. The labour market is no exception. It becomes clear that the global recession will affect many more people than it seemed at first. The International Labour Organisation predicts that the pandemic crisis will reduce working hours globally in the second quarter of 2020 by 6.7% - equivalent to 195 million full-time workers. However, the consequences of the pandemic are more complex and are not limited to rising unemployment. The labour market is changing under the influence of quarantine and self-isolation - for example, the teleworking regime, which many organisations have switched to, simultaneously opens up new opportunities and exposes the difficulties in the established order of things. Labour market experts make forecasts for the future - many believe that the pandemic will accelerate processes that have already begun.

Remote work

During the epidemic, many companies around the world began to switch to the remote work mode - even those where this practice did not even exist before. Of course, this is not possible in every industry and not in every type of work: in some industries, there is a strong idea that the employee must be present at the workplace, in others employees can't provide the same quality of work (for example, due to technology or quality communication), and in some industries personal interaction with clients is mandatory. But it is obvious that more companies will be looking at this option than before.

The current situation will help many employers become more flexible and empower more employees to work from home, not just to go to the office. It is possible that they will begin to pay more attention to where a person is more comfortable to work and where he becomes more productive, and not just to the physical presence in the office. Moreover, more and more companies are mastering new ways of remote collaboration: chats and video calls. Perhaps this will lead to the fact that work teams will become more diverse: in conditions when it is possible to work from home, employers will finally be able to take a closer look at people who cannot travel to the office because of their health, physical or psychological conditions. Another possible option is to revise budgets: the funds that could have been spent on an expensive office may now be more logical to channel in a different direction, including on salaries. Some experts believe that everything will not be limited only to remote work, and companies can more often use the services of freelancers and third-party contractors.

Another possible consequence is that processes at the company level will become more flexible: there may be less bureaucracy, and work processes will speed up. In a crisis and a rapidly changing situation, companies have to react faster, make decisions quickly and put them into action faster. It is logical that in such a situation there is no time for bureaucracy.

Leadership and motivation

There are new difficulties associated with remote work - you need to find how to unite a team that is no longer tied to an office and shared space. Teams are beginning to interact in new ways - in video chats and instant messengers. A great way of accomplishing a good team spirit is video conferencing.

Managers have to look for new methods of quality control. Including, for example, more trust in the employees themselves and in the extent to which they are able to organise their own work process. In the context of the pandemic, according to experts, leadership skills will also acquire a new meaning - to unite the team in difficult times.

Corporate culture

One of the possible optimistic consequences of the current crisis is that companies will pay more attention to corporate culture, that is, vision, values , ​​and principles of work. The way corporate culture affects the actions of both leaders and employees becomes especially noticeable during this period. It is logical that after its completion, many will want to pay more attention to this and consciously form new principles - and not just act the way it has always been.

Global changes

Changes in the labour market, of course, are not limited to teleworking and a new corporate culture - it is quite possible that we will face more global changes. For example, experts predict that another of the existing trends will become more noticeable - the increase in the influence of corporations. It is easy to imagine how this process will develop further - for example, that the airlines that managed to preserve their business will buy out the bankrupt ones and take over even more market share. This process can go in a different way - small companies will join forces to survive the crisis together. All this will lead to new difficulties: it will be more difficult for small startups to compete with conglomerates and corporations.

Conclusion

The current situation may cause employers to pay more attention to workers and their needs - and seriously think about ways to motivate them. Of course, not every company will dare to take big measures (and will be able to afford them) - but already today some are beginning to invest in employees and in their future. For example, they take care of their health (they give them the opportunity to work from home or, in case of emergency, pay for a taxi to the office), invest in their education and skills necessary in the future.

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