The New Normal at the WorkplaceBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 11/11/2020 - 10:00
The way people work nowadays is very different from a year ago and a question that has been on people’s minds is what will be the "new normal," not only for offices after the pandemic but also for people and how they can be more competitive in this new market.
Patricia Cánepa and Patricia Merino, MBA Professors at CENTRUM, state that the digital workplace is here to stay. Before the pandemic, people believed home office would not be as productive as face-to-face interactions. However, this has been proven wrong over these past months. "Offices are no longer a place with fixed shifts and rigid meeting schedules. Most people that work in an office can work from home, a coffee shop, a friend's house, or a coworking station,” David Matt, Founding Partner of Oxford Capital told BBC News.
Amid this new reality, there is a chance to redefine the way we have been and will be working from now on. However, there is still a barrier regarding education and infrastructure. In a previous MBN article, it was mentioned that some companies would quickly adapt to a flexible way of work, which would allow them to reach a point where working remotely becomes the best alternative. For an effective change to happen, governments have to facilitate education and digital resources, according to Merino.
Along with physical changes, new abilities will be needed for companies to succeed in this new normal, in Cánepa and Merino's opinion. From the technical side, it will be important for people to develop digital skills and knowledge. This new reality demands people who know how to handle the tools to work remotely. Empathy, collaboration and creativity are among the most sought-after soft skills in this new reality, as people skills help move forward and develop new ways to work, said Cánepa in an article by El Informador.
According to Matt, 100 percent of remote work requires an investment from companies, but it brings advantages like hiring people from other countries easily and with fewer expenses. A hybrid model helps employees maintain a balance between their professional and personal life. Matt also highlights other working schemes that could come up from this new reality, like a remote model "plus," where people go to the office one week and work from home for three weeks. The "Hub & Spoke," could allow people who live in the same area to socialize in reduced numbers. Matt defines a last option, "Quality Time," which does not establish specific working hours but targets to meet.