By June 2021, around 50% of South Africa’s workforce had transitioned to remote work.
Although this transition has been underway for some time, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated it due to its impact on working environments. The result is an enormous change in the way we conduct our work.
This article examines some of the most significant working environment changes over the last ten years.
Collaboration Over Competition
In the past, business processes encouraged competition between employees to motivate individuals to work as hard and as effectively as possible. It was common for office managers to practise this when motivating their teams and even to compete with other managers to stand out.
In direct contrast, nowadays, there’s a lot more focus on everyone working together as a team to produce the best work possible. This movement can be assisted and streamlined by implementing innovative office automation systems.
The Covid-19 pandemic quickly and significantly changed the office landscape we have known for so long. The main change was the rise of and rapid move toward remote working. Companies have had to adapt to keep running without having employees physically in the office.
Implementing this proved a challenge, but it has resulted in many companies saving both time and money overall. Many employees no longer need to make time-consuming commutes to work, while businesses also spend less on office infrastructure.
It seems remote working will remain in place for many companies moving forward into the foreseeable future.
Cloud computing is one of the reasons remote working has been so successful. Employees can now access company networks in real-time, and automation tools have helped simplify many processes.
Allowing staff to access and control company systems from everywhere provides a tremendous amount of flexibility. Cloud-based data storage systems hold all company systems and data, making it easy for employees with a laptop and internet connection to work from anywhere.
In these instances, though, cybersecurity has become even more critical. Cloud storage systems contain sensitive data such as names, contact details, or even credit card information and need to be well protected.
Office automation software allows companies to save much time on executing simple processes without employee control. The operations and processes within individual businesses determine how successfully one can implement automated workflows.
Fully automating processes benefits both a company and its employees by making daily tasks more manageable.
The introduction of improved communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams and others means employees can easily stay in communication with one another at all times. This enhanced communication helps maintain a solid workflow and ensures good cohesion across a business.
Furthermore, simple functions such as booking rooms and office workflows are improved when using dedicated software to manage them.
Electronic media now has a much higher presence at work and in people’s everyday lives. As many of us know, workplaces have previously blocked access to certain websites on their networks to stop employees from becoming distracted. Also, to avoid the risk of staff visiting harmful sites that could download malicious software onto a company’s network. Although many still believe their companies block specific websites, it’s now less common.
The same goes for businesses monitoring their employee’s emails. The number of organisations actively doing this has significantly decreased over the last decade.
Employee recognition and a more collaborative work environment lend to this, as companies are taking a much larger interest in the wellbeing of their people. Workplace stress is a huge concern for employers, so they are making more effort to understand the causes and find solutions.
The way people handle stress has changed, as they now often talk to friends and family to help them cope. Not too long ago, employees’ prominent coping mechanism was to get more sleep, which seemed to be somewhat less effective.
Many companies now assist with therapy sessions that help their employees. HR departments have made more effort to encourage people to deal with their stress more healthily rather than simply working through it.
Overall, people are far more aware of environmental issues than we have been in the past. Many companies have taken this on board and implemented specific changes that reduce their impact on the environment.
Daily office operations consume much electricity, hence the ever-growing move toward renewable energies such as solar and wind power. These changes are better for the environment and save money on utilities.
Leadership and Management Processes
A company’s management platform plays a big part in how its offices function. The pandemic had a considerable impact on how leaders within businesses operate. Like all other employees, they too have had to adapt to the remote working lifestyle.
Leading a team from within an office has always had its challenges, so having to do the same thing with everyone based at home has been a learning experience.
Having not experienced this before, maintaining corporate culture and keeping leadership skills focused have been vital in ensuring businesses continue to run correctly.
Company Joining Values
Their job means nothing more to them than a paycheck for many people. Still, in recent years, decisions to select specific companies to work for are based on more than just money. The values a company has and what they stand for are fundamental to many individuals.
With the reach of the internet, it’s easy to research organisations to establish if they are doing good in society or whether they are at the other end of the spectrum. For example, many people will refuse to work for a company that they believe exploits its staff or tests its products on animals.
Companies with enough funds and resources tend to give back in some way, such as through charity events or making concerted efforts to take care of their employees. People will always have a more positive view of such companies, which will help build a strong bond between employer and employee.
Modern Working Environments
Businesses are constantly changing, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only but accelerated these changes. Employees have adapted quickly to different working environments, and employers have had to do the same. For the most part, these changes have been positive and present many opportunities moving forward.
Daisy Energy is a leading supplier of business infrastructure and technology solutions. We can help support your business in various ways, such as connectivity, software, and energy, among many others. If you have any questions about what we offer, click here to contact us today.