The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Polity.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a number of disruptions that have consequently led to increased levels of anxiety across several industries. Entrepreneurs have had to make extremely difficult decisions that affect the functionality of their businesses.
The National Department of Health projected that more than 60% of South Africans will get the coronavirus disease and 20% will be severely affected. This raises concerns for many employees on the unrecognisable life we now call the ‘new normal’.
The present is a time where physical human contact is a dreaded scenario no matter the basis. Without a doubt Covid-19 has taught us many valuable lessons including the power of evolution, as businesses are gearing up to roll out their digital strategies, which now become a crucial must-have in an organisational plan and structure. Those failing to adapt play chance at their own risk.
So, what does life post the Covid-19 pandemic look like, more especially in the work place? There is a definite shift in work culture, from the office set-up to easing employees’ stress and converting it into inspiration. Those businesses that can, need to engage in a dialogue with their employees about allowing the norm of a choice in working from home as opposed to coming in to the office daily.
When the workplace culture is healthy it prohibits the decline in the quality of work produced by employees. Perhaps ‘home offices and home-work stations’ are one of the changes that will result from the Covid-19 pandemic, which is increasingly widely seen as the uncomfortable catalyst that the world needs for transformation.
Post the pandemic we see many employees looking for organizational culture that allows for flexibility and customization, as the fear of close-proximity working will still be a concern. It is an opportunity for employers to invest in employee wellness to promote productivity, creativity and an honest assessment on business offerings, consumers and goals to be achieved.
And while these changes require allocation of budgets towards such challenges faced, the Covid-19 pandemic suggests that in such times of heightened anxiety and uncertainty organisations need to plan ahead and not be caught unaware thereby sacrificing the wellbeing of the workforce.
In a recent article by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he stressed the cumulative impact of stress, grief, and anxiety, adding: “Unless we act now to address the mental health needs associated with the pandemic, there will be enormous long-term consequences for families, communities and societies.”
Written by Chief Operations Officer for Adzlok, Bruno Mundela