Now the lockdown has been lifted it is time to dust down the work suit and get back into the workplace or is it? The pandemic, whilst a time of worry and concern, has also lifted the lid on what it is like to work from home and could it now be the future. AP Group has studied what working patterns will be like post-pandemic.
Here are our findings: Many of us will continue to work from home permanently or with much more regularity, meaning a lot of empty office space and lower commercial real estate values. On the plus side, this will help the island’s traffic congestion and the air everyone breathes will become cleaner. Most people I speak to have expressed their pleasure having had time to work from home and the majority are hoping this will now form part of their new work regime and their employer will consider allowing them to work at least some days from home, thus saving time and costs in travelling into the office every day. It appears employers are already investing in technology to support the work from home style and also to be able to navigate and monitor work output when the staff member cannot be managed onsite. Calendar appointments in person/face to face will also now not be so important and less frequent. Companies have found interviewing potential candidates can be achieved over an app with Zoom (although still questionable on its security) or Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp /Skype being the most popular forms of video interviewing and conferencing. Because over time, most employees will not be working necessarily in the office but from home, it will make us as Bill Gates once quoted from Microsoft as we will eventually emulate an ‘unsociable society’, therefore we will make more effort to individualise our clients needs and make more of an effort to personalise our business offering to each and every client we work for. E-based work or informally known as telemarketing/sales will become more of the norm when picking up new business and clients and interaction between co-worker colleagues when servicing new clients needs to clinch a deal.
Now that workers are being given the chance to work remotely the culture of 9 till 5 with an hour for lunch will become less compartmentalized. The work and lifestyle balance will start to blend into one another so what was seen as drop tools at 5pm to get home before the sun goes down will now not be so much the case because employees will already be at home. I am not saying that employees will be expected to put more hours into the job that they have been contracted to do, but they will be more assessable to their employer to fit around their home life so hours of work will no longer necessarily be 9 till 5 – we are already seeing clients becoming more open to hours of work being much more negotiable. Harvard Business School predicts that staff will find their workdays following a very different rhythm. Regular work activities will get disrupted and then blended with personal life. Before working from home, most employees complained of being overloaded with too many face to face meetings and lots of emails to attend to. The shift to working from home is now an opportunity to rethink about your priorities of your workflow and to be able to make a new schedule to achieve your day to day work goals.
This new virtual world will require local authorities and companies to adapt and use more e-services that authenticate identity and enter agreements. Many countries have already implemented universal biometric authentication that is used for accessing financial services as well as entering agreements. At AP Group, for a while, we have been using e-signature documents for clients and candidates to be able to sign online terms and times sheets for example and submit with ease. New rules hopefully will start to come into the island whereby ‘in-person’ legal transactions, such as signing and witnessing and notarising legal documents and comments can be done by video or e-signing. New York has already implemented a new rule allowing a notary to take the acknowledgement of a trust creator over video. Witnesses to wills, notaries and signatures are allowed through videoconferencing during the pandemic which is still very current in this city. House sales in Guernsey could also be conducted this way. The local IT companies have a very good future with being able to implement new software to cater to the island’s thriving industries.
Business never stands still, and it’s always exciting to see new initiatives that can grow from what has been an unprecedented time in the island, providing new business and career opportunities. At AP Group this year we are celebrating our 30 years of service in Guernsey and internationally and we look forward to being of continued assistance for recruitment to our clients and candidates.
When looking for staff or if you are a job seeker looking for a new opportunity, why not speak to one of our experienced consultants today on +44 1481 715757.