Blog entry by Ahmed Husaini
The Cover-19 Pandemic is a human experience of historic proportion. It ranks alongside great historical events like the World Wars, the fall of Berlin Wall or more recently, the 9-11.
Simply put, the world will never be the same again because the consequences of Covid-19 will continue to echo long after the disease is defeated.
One area that will undergo significant transformation is the idea of office work, at least as we know it today. Until recently, there's the overwhelming consensus that office work can only be effectively executed within the traditional office environment that is characterised by physical meetings, strict rules and other relevant office etiquettes.
Now, Covid-19 is changing all that.
As countries enter lockdown and as economies begin to shutdown, organisations and governments are turning to innovative solutions to keep their business and services running.
One important attribute of the traditional office environment is the ability to facilitate face-to-face interactions. With the new restrictions imposed by Covid-19, teleconferencing replace physical meetings. This brings the added realisation that traditional office environment is poorly optimised (in terms of cost, efficiency and satisfaction) and remote work (for certain job roles) could bring about similar level of productivity.
No doubt, there's already a growing shift towards remote work and online working even before the onset of Covid-19, but that shift was occurring at the periphery rather than the centre. With Covid-19, online working (and online living) has become mainstreamed into our everyday existence.
The benefits are endless: lower operational costs for both individuals and organisations, greater work-life balance, less waste and redundancies, optimise resources and possibly greater productivity.
But as our homes are turned into offices, there is the risk that the line between work and living could be blurred by the new digital reality. This will, in the medium and longterm, increase the risk of mental health issues, spousal abuse and the erosion of core emotional skills that are often developed through live physical interactions.
As we prepare for a post-Covid world, the opportunities are endless. But with every benefit or opportunity lies new challenges. Our success at Individual and organisational level will be measured by how we are able to confront those challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities.