The future is coming. Pandora’s box has opened and this time we see the volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous surprises of the future as Covid-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 turns the financial markets upside down. Economic growth estimates are seen to decrease by 0.5 percent worldwide. China, the world’s largest importer and exporter, is the main reason for this slowdown. The economic contraction shows its effect across all geographies and recession signals rise.
The world is vigilant. The outbreak in China’s Wuhan province in December was declared as a pandemic in March with the announcement of the World Health Organization. Due to the increasing number of cases day by day, countries and institutions are vigilant against Covid-19.
What Has Happened So Far?
- America stopped all flights to and from Europe.
- Turkey stopped all flights coming from and going to Europe.
- Saudi Arabia stopped all international flights.
- Italy declared quarantine nationwide.
- Sports competitions are suspended.
- Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft (GAFAM) stated that they will shut down their offices and continue their operations remotely.
- The United Arab Emirates stipulated that all state employees must fulfill their duties by working remotely in the upcoming period.
- The news that dozens of companies have started working remotely in our country Turkey is increasing day by day.
- Actions have been taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with dozens of precautions.
- Other countries have taken serious actions as well.
Pandemic speeds up the process of forming new world norms. Human capital mainly examines three variables in the process of determining the institution it will work with: Corporate culture, development opportunity along with the career, and fiscal benefits.
Working Remotely as an Expectation
While the discourse of working remotely, whose use has increased as a result of Covid-19, is evaluated as a side benefit in today’s world, it is known that it will be evaluated withing the scope of core business norms and benefits in the new world. Working remotely, which was a way of advertising to add talents to institutions, is now a popular phenomenon.
In today’s world, working remotely seems to be a practice towards reducing operational costs, while increasing employee satisfaction. However, now it is even more important to understand the need to build the future by taking the right steps. Independent of the pandemic, according to a research, the new generation, (including generation Y and Z) states that it is difficult to balance the private and work life (with 76% of the respondents). For this reason, it can be said that flexible working conditions have now turned into a fundamental need and expectation for them.
Some institutions aiming to bring their operational efficiency to the top using the pandemic a pretext go further and search for an opportunity. Working remotely becomes permanent as if the norms of the future are being built in today’s world. On the other hand, the gig economy emerges as a result of the unstoppable development of technology and digital transformation. Gig economy aims to completely remove the future workplaces from the physical environments with its new game conditions. Covid-19 seems as one of the factors that speed up this process.
Working as a Team
Covid-19 has turned into an opportunity for some institutions. Working remotely shouldn’t be as simple as it seems. It is not possible to be a “team” unless there are technological infrastructures to work together. In this context, software such as Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Team and Trello come to the rescue. For example, although the Nasdaq 100-Index decreased by about 15 percent compared to the day when the first Covid-19 case was seen (December 31, 2019), Zoom interests (software company producing video conferencing technologies) increased by approximately 62 percent. We can only see this as a starting point.
Likewise, we will witness a big jump in educational technology. All over the world education either came to a halt or would continue through an online platform. As a result, pilot applications planned to be implemented in the future appeared fully. All educational institutions were then obliged to continue their operations with online platforms (I recommend you follow ETZ on Educational Technologies).
Covid-19 is temporary, corporate culture is permanent. Will the institutions that care about the health of their employees and encourage working from home continue this incentive after the pandemic? Or will they take it to the dusty shelves of the past as a populist action?
The future will come when today’s silo institutions turn into dynamic and agile institutions. We will come across flexible working hours and locations as important practices of this transformation.
Pandemic as an Opportunity to Move Forward
It is our responsibility to address traditional institutions that have the courage to bring to future to the present by using the pandemic as an opportunity. It is necessary to state that synthesizing the culture of working remotely into the DNA of institutions is the most important success criterion.
The practice of working remotely cannot be successful without building this culture, that is, getting rid of today’s status quo. We need to get rid of the strict working hours from 9:00-17:00 as well as the control on the entrance and exits, micromanaging and not giving the employees a responsibility to take charge.