Covid-19 - what will change? 

This is not a straightforward question, it would be easier to answer what won't change.  
This will be as much about what evolves over time as what will change immediately. The initial focus is on getting businesses restarted as fast and safely as possible in order to satisfy the current demand.  

Changes in demand 

The hard decisions that have been taken to furlough and make redundancies to the workforce have to be made on the best knowledge of how quickly demand will come back. This is than tempered by how robust the supply chains will be in supporting that increase.  
The modelling and capacity planning of this needs to encompass many scenarios as success will inevitably be measured by the agility of the organisation to switch strategies or adjust direction. So the key element will be in tracking the demand and how it meets the current chosen scenario and deciding when or if to change approach. 

Are processes fit for purpose? 

We have found that the change to remote working and enforced further distancing of customers has meant many processes are not fit for purpose as they cannot be accessed by customers or staff. This has created an immediate need to digitize processes. The pace at which this is likely to have been done gives rise to opportunities to re-imagine the processes and how system or RPA type automation can be applied, however this is unlikely to have occurred when speed is of the essence and getting customers and staff 'back online' has been the key driver.  
The time to reassess and re-imagine these processes is now and is a great opportunity as the pace of change, flexibility of staff and ability to accommodate what were before 'red lines' for compliance or legal teams have been swept away enabling faster and further reaching changes than hitherto allowed. 
Refocusing the It community on remote accessibility of systems, cloud data storage, security, digital working practices all need to be addressed at pace. 

Supporting your staff and customers 

Safety of your staff and customers while still managing the risk of Covid 19 infection is the overriding priority of all organisations. This is a complex area and will evolve rapidly over time as individuals and communities better understand the real risks and what level of risk they are willing to accept themselves.  
By way of example most (but by no means all) of the staff in the NHS acute settings have taken the necessary precautions but have accepted the risk very quickly. This is contrasted with a wider public who have been isolated and not faced the reality of the risks and are slower to adapt. This has meant that the typical NHS worker is probably 2-3 months ahead of the general public in accepting the real risk to their own demographic and are taking fewer precautions in the world outside of the hospital. 
Does this mean an organisation has to adapt to the most concerned individuals? This is where degrees of individual flexibility and counselling should be applied by managers to help reduce the extremes of individual behaviours. 
There will be opportunities to retain key knowledge and workers as remote working can enable staff with flexible needs, and particularly parents, to work around their children’s needs and timings. 

Home working 

The enforced home working caused by C-19 has accelerated the existing long term change. Could it mark the switch from 1 day working from home to 1 day working from the office? 
The broad use and acceptance has in many cases increased productivity and effectiveness of staff. However this shouldn't discourage staff who do not have the right environment at home (not working in a shed or airing cupboard, working on the kitchen table with children running around, not having the right chairs, screens and broadband speed.) It should also not ignore the social nature of workplaces and how this enhances an organisation. Though there has been a quick uptake of the likes of Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meets the supporting Apps and tech around these needs to be considered to enhance the working experience. 
The new mix of home and office working will reshape the type and size of space required for offices. There may be less desks as the need for more meeting rooms and collaborative space will be the the main reason staff are coming into the office. Practical plans for rotation of what days teams are in the office to maintain team cohesiveness and bonding will need to be thought through. Might more ‘local’ offices or shared office space, even local coffee shops for small groups, minimise travel time? 

Performance management 

Many managers will be miss-trustful of staff who are working at home. They imagine they will be doing more gardening or socialising than working. The experience so far appears to be broadly the opposite however this means that the approach and measures of individual and team productivity needs to change. Rather than always looking at hourly or daily output it may mean changing metrics to look at daily or weekly tasks completed to allow for individual staff flexibility in patterns of working.  
Maintaining the personal contact is equally important out of the office as in but will need more planning and consideration as short video calls replace 'water cooler catch ups'.  
For more information or to book your exploratory consultation please call us on 020 7739 6565 or email 
COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease 2019
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings