The last year has led companies to make long-term changes to their workplace operations in an effort to keep their employees safe, as well as their business afloat.
So what trends can we anticipate organizations to take with them into the new year and beyond?
Safety protocols were common for manufacturing and warehouse environments, but office environments will now see an uptick in their own safety procedures. Things like temperature checks, sanitation practices and health surveys will be common practice moving forward.
Flexibility in terms of schedules will also continue playing a role in the workforce. While this was once seen as a rare benefit for some knowledge workers, flexibility will be crucial for companies looking to boost workplace morale, as well as attract and retain talent.
One of the more challenging issues with remote working is maintaining a semblance of community and a supportive culture.
Business leaders will need to make an extra effort to create a virtual work environment that keeps employees engaged by hosting weekly meetings, team-building exercises and encouraging feedback about how to improve remote operations.
Along with a healthy culture will be the need for better healthcare benefits, both physical and mental. Wellness in the workplace has taken the front seat of workplace culture discussions, and understanding what an employee needs to perform their best will be crucial.
With employees working from various places, businesses also need to invest more into cybersecurity tools to alleviate any risks. Making sure remote workers are equipped with the right resources and IT tools will be crucial in operating a distributed workforce.