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The Impact of Social Distancing on the Workplace

As the coronavirus continues to dictate so much of our daily lives, our work environment has changed significantly. The longer the world has to cope with the corona virus pandemic, the more businesses adapt and learn new ways to operate effectively. Most companies and workers that are able to work completely online have done so already, however, with the economy slowly opening, more businesses are sending employees back to in-person work. Preventing the spread of the virus has become a top priority for these companies and the changes made to the workplace may be slow to go away after the pandemic is gone.

Here at Adzuna, we’ve complied a few ways in which you can expect the workplace to change due to the coronavirus pandemic:

1. Workspaces designed for social distancing

The physical layout of our offices will transform to accommodate a socially distanced workspace. Desks are being moved farther apart and facing away from one-another, plastic barriers are being installed between social hot spots, and limits on the number of people working in-office will be set. In addition, many companies operating in major cities have mandated a temperature check for all employees entering the building with extensive health surveys to help track the spread in case of an outbreak.

2. Contactless world

As social distancing has become the new norm, contactless options are a solution for many businesses to remain open. Companies have been forced to offer delivery and online ordering to make customer interactions safer. Most business will find a way to make these changes and once they do, it’s likely they will not revert back. As soon as a vendor offers contactless operations, it would be very difficult to take that option away for customers. People have already become accustomed to having everything available contactless, so this trend will likely carry over even in the post-corona economy.

3. Remote work

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 31 percent of in-office workers switched to working all remote in the first few weeks of quarantine. It is clear that the biggest change in the workplace coming out of the pandemic is the large increase in remote working. Moving most of the workforce online has consequences on people’s productivity, motivation, and mental health. It is estimated that more people will work remote jobs due to the corona virus and many positions that were once considered essential to be in person, will change to be remote. If you are looking to applying for a remote position, Adzuna has over 200,000 remote job listings – check them out here!

4. Communication is key

In June 2020, Workable conducted a survey on the impact the virus has had on people’s jobs. Of the employees who filled out the survey, 71% of people stated that working online has had a major impact on workplace culture while only 6% reported that nothing has changed. It seems the casual chats by the water cooler and informal discussions at lunch cafeterias that define office interactions have now been replaced by video calls and online meetings.

Communication between colleagues has changed greatly and it is integral for managers and team leaders to ensure that the personal connections they oversee are not lost in online translation. New methods for ensuring people feel visible and a part of a team — like weekly catch ups, coffee hours etc. – are important for keeping morale high and reminds everyone that collaboration is still necessary and possible.

5. Recruitment will change as we go more online

Recruitment efforts for many companies have not been a top priority since the pandemic hit. However, as the economy opens up and businesses start to recover, many companies are re-vamping the hiring process in order to attract top-level talent. Recruiting will likely be completely remote as interviews and screenings must be online and onboarding tools will be organized through cloud-based platforms. As a result of these major changes, hirees who are self-driven and adaptable will be most valuable to companies moving forward. If you are looking for the best way to recruit people for remote work, we’ve created this guide to help you.

The Future of the Workplace

For those who are returning to onsite work, maintaining social distance will be the top priority in order to keep workers safe. Adjustments in how we communicate, interact, and run businesses will all continue to change as we learn how to live and function as a society. The end of the coronavirus does not seem to be in sight, so many workplace adjustments will remain consistent for the foreseeable future.

If you are currently on the hunt for your dream job during the pandemic, make sure to check out Adzuna for the latest openings!