One of the most popular catch phrases during the COVID-19 pandemic is “new normal”, but what exactly does that mean? I understand what it means for right now but what I am more curious about is what does that mean mid-long term? There are two sides to the fence when it comes to the working from home debate, those that love it and those that crave the social interaction that comes with going to work every day. A great way companies can adapt the “new normal” is to offer more flexibility and offer employees the choice of whether to continue working from home or going to the office while offering benefits for both. They can start that process right now to get ahead of it and then reassess what their physical vs. virtual footprint will be in order to scale down and cut costs wherever needed i.e. lease out office space or move entirely.
What scares me most however is the fact that while some companies may in fact move more virtually many others will realize that they can survive and even thrives with less staff and at a fraction of the offices they currently use. Does this mean they can move the majority of jobs offshore at a cheaper rate? Does this mean they can quickly develop technology that will replace many of the workers that are home during this crisis? The recession caused by this pandemic is only accelerating and while corporations can be nimble and adapt people many times cannot. My only hope is that people are not displaced or better yet can us this time to acquire more skills to make themselves more attractive if and when there job is not there for them when the time comes.