We’ve all had to change the way we work in lockdown. Tools such as Zoom, Skype, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have all become our new best friends. Face-to-face meetings now seem a thing of the past. We’ve all had to get used to video meetings and calls instead. However, will we return to the old face-to-face meetings after things start going back to normal? We’ll discuss how we have changed the ways we work and whether it’s been for the better or worse.
Is The Home Now The New Office Thanks to Lockdown?
When the country got struck into national lockdown on the 23rd March after a national television broadcast by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, most none essential businesses were forced to close as the government issued a stay at home order which was enforceable by law. This meant the majority of people who weren’t classed as key workers had to now work from home instead.
Yes, a large percentage may have worked at home at some point in the past, but most wouldn’t have been used to doing it full-time. Let alone having your other half doing the same thing and potentially having to home-educate your kids as well. It will certainly have been a learning curve for many.
Communication is all now done digitally and it has just, even more, emphasized the need for a steady and stable internet connection into our homes.
Will it stay this way though? Is the regular office now a thing of the past? Probably not, but I do think that the number of people working from home will definitely be increasing after this is all over. Whether that be permanently or just spending more days out of the office than in.
Productivity May Have Actually Increased Whilst Working From Home
The biggest excuse from employers when we have asked about home working in the past has always been how they are concerned about productivity levels when working from home. Well that excuse, should be no more. A recent survey carried out by researchers from Cardiff University and the University of Southampton found that 41% of employees surveyed said they got the same amount of work done as they did whilst working outside of the home 6 months ago. 29% also said their productivity actually increased whilst working from home during lockdown.
If that can be achieved whilst home-schooling your kids, then think of what the results would be in normal times when your kids are at school instead.
Are Online Meetings & Video Calls Now The Future?
We’ve all got used to video calls over the last few months. Whether that be using Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams, the idea is the same. Instead of attending a meeting in person,you just video call them instead. Most of us will have had back-to-back zoom calls to keep in touch with co-workers and clients.
Only time will tell if we keep using video calls in the future. But in my opinion, we will, or we certainly will hold meetings online more often than we don’t. Listing some of the reasons:
- It will save you on transport costs.
- You will save precious time. No longer will you spend hours in the car to get to a client meeting. Just call them from your desk instead.
- You’re less likely to have to re-schedule as its easier to fit into your schedule due to the shorter times needed.
Conclusion – Has Lockdown Changed The Way We Will Work In Future?
I would hope that it has, and it would indeed be for the better. I think most businesses will now be more open to people working from home, even if it is just for a few days a week. The amount of pressure this could take off parents who struggle to get childminders or just simply can’t afford one is unimaginable. No longer will they have to choose between working or looking after their kids. But it’s not just the benefits to productivity or the fact it will allow a better work-life balance due to the lack of the commute. It could also help save our planet.
During the first two weeks of lockdown, air pollution levels in some cities such as London and Glasgow fell by around 60%. Simply, because of less traffic on the road. Working from home and online meetings could really help our planet. And in my opinion, businesses should take responsibility for building a greener world. Time will only tell if we can do this. But for all of us and our future generations, I sincerely hope we do.