Quarantine, fear, virus, death death death. Dramatic changes the year has caused across the globe are like from a most horrible disaster movie. Will there ever be a normal day after tomorrow?
Crises are always both positive and negative. We easily stick to negative, as risk avoidance has led us through evolution. We tend to fall into our comfort zone as it allows us to be stable and utilise energy as little as possible. But no evolution happens in a comfort zone. A crisis has dynamics leading to giant leaps – evolutional explosions.
From an organisational point of view, Covid-19 has pushed us over the edge of the comfort zone.
1. Remote work has trended slowly during the last 30 years but took a giant leap in March 2020. Only a few start-ups evangelised remote work before Covid-19 bombing. April in full stress and panic – every capable org invaded peoples’ kitchens and spare spaces to survive through tough times. Time will show negative outcomes of this giant remote leap but positive has been immediate. In reality for brain workers most of the “means of production” had a long time ago either turned intangible or could fit into a small suitcase.
There will be no “back to normal”. People – and especially organisations – have realised the benefits of remote work. Strategically it fulfils perfectly the two principles of change: removing pain (going to works, traffic jams, time wasted…) and improving gain (time management, mixing free family time and work better). Also, a good opportunity for real estate development as all business parks has to go through a total reformation. And think about the future of recruitment.
2. Erosion of distance has already been an ongoing process due to the internet. But in reality, closeness is welded much deeper in our organisational DNA. All my life I’ve worked in the “province” and capital city clients apologisingly leave us in second place because we’re so far. That problem vanished totally in April 2020. Surprisingly professional skills, capabilities, SLA’s and such really got the weight they deserve. CFO’s wonder why sales improve results even there is no budget for life-or-death-presence exhibitions.
3. Lifelong learning became reality for the majority. Conservative public sector had overnight time to adapt to zooms and teams. Teachers had to teach themselves how to keep aligned with course standards even if the classroom was empty. Most of us learned new ways of work, even how to decorate smart video backgrounds to look smart & brainy.
Those three things will have enormous effects on the global economy alone already. Yes, the vaccine is on its way, but to the world which will be way more different. The world is more ready for 2021 than ever.