How COVID-19 is Changing the Way We Work

This year has been filled with uncertainty and accelerated many changes both in our personal and professional lives. With Australia going into its first lockdown in March, businesses had to change and adapt quickly. Many started working from home, in different environments or changing how office spaces were laid out and devising COVID safe plans. While some businesses have since gone back to their offices, Victoria is in a second lockdown and many work environments have had to retain certain changes as a result of COVID-19. We look at some of the changes we have seen across our industry, the recruitment process and business operations and consider the effects and what will stick far into the future.

Working From Home?

As a result of working from home arrangements that were enforced or encouraged during COVID-19 lockdowns, the office environment has changed dramatically leaving employers and employees alike wondering if this change will continue. In the past, working remotely was not a common occurrence for many businesses but now, as many organisations have had to create infrastructure and systems to support working at home, the ability to do this is now more accessible and easier than ever. A recent McCrindle Research survey found 78% Aussies expressed a desire to spend at least a certain amount of their time working from home. So, what does this mean? While it may not be right for every business, remote offices are now, more than ever, possibly a permanent option.

Utilising Video to Hire Remotely?

Even the recruitment process is evolving this year as a flow on effect of COVID with many candidate interviews, especially roles requiring several meetings, being conducted via video calls. Our 2XM Recruit teams are also adapting and using more phone calls and video chats where face to face meetings may not be possible due to COVID or logistical restrictions. While there is a real benefit of connecting in person, we do wonder if, as people become more comfortable and confident with video technology, there will be a retained uptake of utilising these forms of communication in the recruitment process.

No More Hot Desks?

The logistics of how businesses operate has changed dramatically.Hot desking may be a thing of the past and some businesses are trialing staggered working hours in offices and factories so they don’t become crowded and social distancing can be maintained. Many argue that while this change presents many challenges for the workplace, it could also have positive effects that help improve peak hour traffic and reduce our impact on the environment. In fact, it is predicted that Australia’s CO2 emissions are expected to fall 8 per cent in comparison to the 12 months prior.

Smaller Offices?

With more people working remotely or at different hours, corporate real estate will be repurposed and reduced. Employees may prioritise the purchase of larger residential properties for home officers over inner city apartments and employers may relocate workplaces to something smaller or more suitable to their changing workforce habits.

The changes we are seeing across businesses as a result of COVID-19 have been unprecedented and they have required flexibility and adaptability for employees and employers alike to survive and thrive. If you need advice navigating this new landscape, finding your next role or recruiting for your next hire across rail, mining, engineering or construction, get in touch with our team today.