The future of work after pandemic: 3 ways to support employees beside of working from home arrangement

The future of work after pandemic: 3 ways to support employees beside of working from home arrangement

OnMyGrad Team

3 minute read

COVID-19 has brought significant impacts that altered our daily lifestyle, thus leading to a giant transformation in our working style! Apart from “work from home” arrangement, what will be the future trend for work style? Let’s take a quick look for the three emerging changes throughout the influence of the epidemic.

1. Flexible working hours: Home office arrangement

With the raging epidemic, employers have arranged employees to work from home by communication through online platforms, so as to reduce the risk of crowding and ensure safety for both parties.

According to a survey conducted by Lingnan University in 2020, which related to findings on Work from Home arrangement under the impact of COVID-19, it showcases that more than 70% of “Home office” employee believes that working from home provides more adequate break time than working from office; Over 60% of interviewees revealed that working from home reduced their stress level.

Langnan University take further survey to local management level staff of their opinions toward “Work From Home” arrangement, result indicates the for and against rate as 68.9% vs 31.1%; Although there are over a quarter of employers/ management staff may doubt the effectiveness of working from home, the arrangement reduces employee’s mental stress and promotes mental wellness. If employers worry about the efficiency of employees' productivity, it is suggested to conduct weekly/ bi-weekly online conferences in order to be up-to-date for their working status.

2. Artificial Intelligence / or Self-Service will be applied to frontline workforce

The pandemic leads to significant economic regression and uncertainties worldwide. Therefore employers adapt automation and artificial intelligence to streamline so as to reduce cost, and replace the redundant workforce in the meanwhile. According to the McKinsey's Survey conducted in July 2020, it interviewed approximately 800 senior executives for their investment of future workforce. The result shows over 60% of management executives enhanced the investment toward automation and A.I., which aims to simplify the production process. For instance, they embedded A.I. to warehouses, grocery stores, call centres and manufactory to accelerate production speed. More frontline/ post production employees will be dismissed as the enhanced automation equipment are stored, the employers may need to keep their eyes on the emerging trend of work.

3. Employer hires temporary or short-term workforce instead of traditional full time staff

Gartner earlier surveyed HR staff in various countries, about 32% of organisations are adapting temporary staff to replace full-time employees. The arrangement brings better management flexibility for enterprises by measuring pay per piece of work produced by employees, instead of the traditional full-time capital calculation scheme. With the fifth wave of the epidemic, employers are unable to predict the exact manpower resources, but front-line sales outlets such as retail and catering are also experiencing a wave of closures, adding to the plight of full-timers, who are gradually being hired less to reduce uncertainty and costs of a company.

Although work from home has become a major trend under the epidemic, in addition to flexible arrangements for employees to work, in fact, there are still many supportive packages available to employees. When work from home office packages are not as adequate as working at an office, or employees might be influenced by family members living with them easily, what can employers do to resolve the circumstance?

A. Enhance employee’s working equipment support (Office like)

The survey conducted by Lingnan University also points out that over 65% of respondents indicate the equipment like printers and other materials are not enough to support the needs of work during home office. In these circumstances, employers can provide the corresponding assistance requested by employees, for instance provide the most cost-effective home office printer, or offer remote or creative software for employees to ensure their needs are fulfilled.

B. Distribute anti-epidemic medical supplies to employees

The previous fifth wave of the epidemic has put citizens on edge, which also caused panic buying of disinfection and Rapid Antigen test kits in Hong Kong. With the steady supply of anti-epidemic items by sellers, they became available throughout the city, nonetheless the prices are a bit steep. Corporations could distribute masks and disinfectant kits to workers, not only as a means to enhance their loyalty, but to showcase that the company truly cares for employee’s physical and mental health.

C. Provide support to employees for Continuous Education

The pandemic caused certain physical and mental pain to employees. Apart from giving substance supplies to them, employers could encourage the staff to engage in online courses (e.g. LinkedIn, Udemy etc. ) to enrich the experience and portfolio for improved job performance and competitiveness, which helps to reduce confusion of future career development.