Re-Imagining Work-From-Home Option Post Novel - Corona Virus Outbreak.
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Re-imagining Work-From-Home option post Novel - Corona Virus Outbreak.

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Product Manager
As we move through the year 2020, there is one workplace trend that’s poised to take over the world: flexible working. Workers are now preferring more flexible approach and schedules to collaborate. As per a recent survey 80% of U.S. workers say they would turn down a job that didn’t offer flexible working and around 50% of employees globally are working outside of their main office headquarters for at least 2.5 days a week.

Re-imagining Work-From-Home option post Novel - Corona Virus Outbreak.

But, post novel coronavirus outbreak, new trends have started emerging which has changed the meaning of several terms like “office”, “work-from-home”, “remote-work”, “meetings”, “conferences” etc. These words now carry a whole new meaning nowadays and in years to come, these trends will usher in a new work-culture which will be difficult to fathom.

Here are a few interesting trends that I believe will be the new norm in years to come:

a) Work-From-Home Clause- Work-From-Home will not be an option anymore, rather “working in an office” will be. As per a recent article published, work-from-home will be considered as a permanent measure in some sectors like education, finance, etc. Even job descriptions will have now have a new mandatory section on “work-from-home”.

b) Rise in Virtual Conferences: Considering the tech conferences and other businesses meetings cancelled this year, many conferences will now opt for virtual meetups. We may see people attending virtual product demo or a online sales conference by giving digital attendance. No more hurry-for-visa-applications or large-hotel-bookings, everything just might happen in a large board-room with great video-conferencing equipment attended by local or virtual participants. ( Can we call it Webinar Conference? )

c) Culture of Home Offices: With the rise in work-from-home options, people would focus on creating more on home-office-spaces. With this, there would be a sudden rise in lots of products specifically targeted for Home-Office like video-equipment, sound systems, internet packages, wall decors etc. People would start working from places other than the office. Maybe a lot of companies will start investing more in flexible meeting rooms as well as on meeting solution licenses. Maybe we will see an age of “cloud-offices” just like today’s “cloud-kitchens”.

d) Office Hours and Work-Life-Balance: With the increase in work-from-home trends, there would be a rise in expectations of “available-hours” or “office-hours” as well. Employees would be expected to be available for most of the period as well as work in sync with people in different time-zones. This will definitely make an impact on work-life balance as well as the quality of work-deliverables. We may have to see how these things evolve.

e) Increase in demand high-quality video meetings with collaboration tools: With the rise in work-from-home demand and distributed name of workforces, IT strategies would have high-quality video as the norm, along with other collaboration tools like chats, recordings, etc. Along with new innovative meeting solutions from trendy video-conferencing companies, broadband speed and reliability will be more in focus. New data-packs/plans might get introduced, specifically for uninterrupted meetings.

f) Rise of smart meetings: AI driven meetings will be in demand in many workplaces along with rise in use of meeting-digital-assistants to take notes or create follow-up meetings with action-items. Along with these several new features like transcriptions, closed-captioning, meeting highlights will become part of regular meetings-solution offering which will keep the employees more focused on the actual problem rather than on pre/post meeting modalities. Even organizations will start using latest trending AI features to track employee productivity, we might also see emergence of new types of KPIs/Metrics which can be used to measure performance (for both employees as well as business)

..Along with these, many more new trends may evolve.

In 2019, due to rise in remote-work culture meeting-solutions evolved making it easier for anyone to hold a secure, impromptu session with remote workers and business partners. But in 2020, with the rise in cases of viral diseases and increase in focus on flexible nature of work along with emergence of AI complemented with AR/VR in video conferencing technology, work as well the remote work-culture will definitely undergo a transmutation.

Maybe in couple of years from now, on a Sunday morning or late evening when you feel, it’s time to get in touch with your friend and family and you pick the phone to call them up, you may have to think twice as he/she may be “at work”.