A New Way of Working (Part II)By Renato Picard | Fri, 03/26/2021 - 09:05
In past articles, we talked about how the new normal represents challenges and opportunities in how people and businesses have redesigned their ways of working; specifically, we mentioned four dimensions where people are rethinking their ways of working:
a) In space
b) In time
c) In the mind of the worker
d) In the structure and operation of companies
In this article, we want to address two dimensions: time and the worker's mind. Both dimensions have been perhaps the ones that have generated the newest paradigms during this year of pandemic.
In the Time dimension, we refer to the new conceptions of working hours, which will have new motivations that will redefine their formats.
One of the most studied factors about the future of mobility post-COVID is the expected demand behavior, or the hours and times of day when people will prefer to travel. Until before the pandemic, people sought to meet their arrival and departure times, which coincided, for the most part, with those of the rest of the population, which is why rush hours and peak traffic hours were generated.
Now that the agglomerations are a threat to health and that several economic sectors have proven that teleworking works, it is expected that companies and individuals will modify their routines and work arrangements to seek travel during quieter hours in terms of congestion. This will allow a new flatter demand curve where the peak hours will tend to fade with the volume of the day.
The new normality is going to be a constant for everyone, so what used to govern the company's internal and external service and collaboration schedules will also be modified. We will all be relearning our habits and consuming and collaborating in different ways. This means a challenge, but also many opportunities to get the best out of people regardless of the time or distance from where they are developing.
People are expected to have a whole new set of needs resulting from the new normal, for example:
- Distance education, the shortening or reduction of timetables in schools and in public and commercial service centers.
- Support for the care of vulnerable family members
- Pet care
- Combining telecommuting schedules with spouse or life partner
- New household operating requirements
Mind of the Worker
The third dimension is within the mind of the worker. Although all these changes seem logical in the face of the new reality, the truth is that people will have to go through processes of adaptation and rationalization of what all these changes represent for them.
The time to give priority to health is now. Both companies and workers should give greater importance to this issue; health promotion is mandatory in reopening and personal plans and should consider issues such as exercise, nutrition, balance, sleep habits, improvements to the immune system, vaccination campaigns, mental health, smoking and no to misinformation, so that the pieces of the puzzle are complete. In turn, an increase in the need for occupational physicians is expected.
One of the opportunities provided by this crisis is to rethink the way we move. To realize that previous models were generating congestion and adverse side effects for the life and health of all people.
If we think of a new mobility in the post-COVID world, it is important to think of cleaner, shared, efficient, flexible and controllable means of transport that can guarantee the necessary health conditions. Mobility can be an opportunity to exercise the body and also the mind, to open the doors to a whole set of possibilities that multimodality can offer and to learn to enjoy the time spent in transfers, as well as to get to know and recognize our cities.
Tranquility and Emotional Stability
In this new era, and after so much uncertainty and instability, companies are resuming their role as a social safety net for their employees. The welfare and protection of their teams are new responsibilities that companies must integrate into their development plans.
An employee who feels informed and protected is less prone to unnecessary absenteeism and develops a sense of belonging and gratitude. To achieve the binomial health and economy, companies are co-responsible. To reach the goal, a long road awaits us during which not everything will be said, but it is a fact that for the walk to be light we must trust in science, contribute our part and be willing to continue learning.