The corona pandemic has shaken, on global scale, the way in which we work – much more than any of us could have imagined only a few months ago. Although Germany was still considered an advocate of in-person culture before the COVID-19 outbreak, times have now (out of necessity) changed. Corona has become an accelerator of change, forcing companies to rethink fixed structures and internal processes. Even corporations with outdated structures have embraced digitalization and thereby opened themselves up to a future-oriented working environment. Although the in-person obligation has only been temporarily suspended due to the corona pandemic, it is nevertheless important to take the right steps towards “the new normal” now – because the way in which we work, as we know it, will probably never be the same again.
The New Normal... – what does it even mean? Life has changed dramatically, both privately and professionally, and once the corona crisis is over there will be a New Normal, as we cannot return to our “old ways”. This will have far-reaching consequences for the way in which we work. For example, many companies are embracing topics such as digitization, New Work and the virtual office, improving their corporate communications, and putting priority on transparency and digital exchange.
But this has not always been the case: according to the German Federal Statistical Office, we Germans (only 11%) (before Corona) were lagging behind the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden in terms of the proportion of people working from home (33-38%). We now have the opportunity to catch up internationally and make our everyday work routine both crisis-proof and future-proof. Germany’s long-outmoded in-person culture has had its day, because with the arrival of the New Normal it will no longer work – and there are three extremely good reasons for this.
1. Your image – or how to leave your rivals in the dust
A good company image is worth its weight in gold. And the fact is that no employee will ever forget the actions their employer took during the pandemic – from internal transparency and networking to data exchange and corporate culture. Companies that had already accelerated their digitization process were of course a step ahead of the rest. Whether it be a social intranet, an employee app or agile working methods from the virtual office – structures that companies had created in the past helped them avoid falling into chaos. But don’t worry, even those who were not ready yet can (and should) update. Your employees may forgive you once for not meeting the digital standards – but probably not a second time.
👍🏻 or 👎🏻? Speaking of employer attractiveness!
In the “war for talent”, those with a lot of potential will now – even more so than before – be looking for employers who operate in a digital, modern and agile manner. Employees also want to work flexibly and independent of location, while putting priority on transparency and a structured exchange of knowledge. In-person culture? Wrong. If you want to keep a step ahead of the competition when it comes to “the new normal” and recruit specialized professionals, you have to adapt your company to the changed conditions. (💡 Interested in learning more about it? Then take a look at this: “How digitization increases your attractiveness as an employer”).
2. A better work-life balance – and nonetheless more productive?!
Adherents of the in-person culture surely did not find it easy to send employees to the virtual office and let them work there “without supervision” and flexibly. But instead of kicking back and relaxing (as some employers probably feared would happen), productivity actually increased, while the work-life balance also improved. These statements are supported by a study by the health insurance company DAK of about 7,000 employees.
The results at a glance:
- The (regular) stress level decreased
- More than half of respondents said they were more productive at home
- Two thirds were able to better reconcile work and family life
- Two thirds were happy about the time they saved by avoiding the commute to work
- 76.9 percent would also like to retain this way of working in the future – at least in part.
Discontinuation of the in-person culture benefits both companies and employees. Although not everything can be handled from the virtual office in all jobs, the study clearly showed that more can be done digitally than expected. And also that it is important to trust your own employees.
3. Trust = loyalty = time/money
The corona pandemic has been forcing us to learn, use and implement new working models. And it makes us place more trust in our employees and colleagues, while also making communication more transparent. One long-term effect of this will be to increase loyalty to the company thanks to increased satisfaction, thus reducing fluctuation. This saves you both time and money. Digital tools such as a social intranet or an employee app can help you actively promote digitization in your company. The fact is: Germany’s in-person culture is obsolete and it is high time to find new ways and solutions to remain competitive at all times – with or without a pandemic.
👉🏻 Need help with this task? No problem. A social intranet like COYO and an employee app enable you to easily collaborate digitally from anywhere, network with any employee across multiple locations and reach any employee whenever you need to. 💚 Want to learn even more? Then have a look at our website or give us a call.