The Covid-19 pandemic has permanently changed work arrangements. Most North American companies are reviewing the way they live together.
“One year later, employees are still traumatized, they feel bad around others”, David Locke, director of the American Institute of Neurological Leadership, assures us. “There are a lot of worries, Added Helio Fred Garcia, professor of leadership and ethics at Columbia University. You don’t know who got the vaccine. Wearing a mask is a political issue. Some people may be aggressive, insult their colleagues, or even become violent. “
Isabel, a 70-year-old New Yorker, works in the accounting department of a small household goods distribution company. She went to the office from 9 am to 5 pm all her life. Then Covid-19 came and she took refuge at home. She appreciates this change very much. “My work is more efficient, she says. No one bothers me. I no longer have the pressure, I no longer have the obligation to stop everything at 5 pm. In fact, I finished it when I was finished, and then I had dinner. ”
How does she handle the relationship with other employees? “I have an agreement with my subordinates. When I call them, they must call me back within an hour. There are no more old ways, She added. I no longer think about appearance. “ Isabel does not yet know what decision the management of her company with 1,400 employees will make in September. She hopes to have a hybrid solution, at home for three days and at the office the rest of the time.
Bruce Ennis, head of human resources at Heartwood Partners, a private equity firm, prefers “Office Friendship”. At home, he explained, “There is interference.” He has two children and often wants to watch sports on TV. However, Mr. Ennis also advocated hybrid solutions. Because of the requirements of new recruits, if they are not given some flexibility, the incumbents may leave the ship. “There is no new normal after Covid, He blurted out. You learn by doing. “
It is not easy to gradually return to the company. A Harvard Business School survey of remote workers shows that 81% of people prefer a mixed schedule. 61% of people agree to work in the office two to three days a week. When the management considered the epidemic, they knew that they would not go back to the past.
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