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Working from home is no longer something some of us can get
away with some of the time. It’s become essential for our health and safety. So,
what does the future of work look like in a post-COVID
world
?

We asked some of our cybersecurity and tech experts for their
insights, which we’ll be presenting in a series entitled The Future of Work. In
this installment, we’ll cover the qualities that will separate companies able
to make smooth transitions to new ways of working from those that can’t. Plus,
we’ll examine the effects the pandemic and our response to it have on workplace
culture.

What are hallmarks of organizations that will successfully navigate our new workplace realities?

The COVID-19 crisis has forced employers to more fully
consider the broader humanity of their employees. With parents becoming
teachers and caretakers for ill, often elderly loved ones, greater levels of
empathy are required of management. Now, with a lagging world economy and even
experts unsure of what
shape the current recession will take
, financial stress will likely be
added to the long list of anxieties facing the modern workforce.

As remote work continues to be a norm in industries like
tech, boundaries between home and work life will continue to be murky. This,
says Webroot product marketing manager George Anderson, presents opportunities
for effective leaders to stand out from their peers.

“Leadership matters now more than ever,” says
Anderson, “and being truthful matters even more. Your staff is worried,
and platitudes won’t help. They need real communication based on real facts
explaining why a company is making certain decisions. Being empathetic, sharing
in employee concerns, involving and demonstrating how you value your staff—whether
at executive or managerial level—will impact loyalty, dedication, and future
business performance.”

Forbes
notes that a more empathetic work culture is a silver lining arising from the
pandemic that won’t be easily undone. We now know not just our coworkers’
personalities, but also their home office setups, their pets, children, and
even their bookshelves. That fuller understanding of the person behind the
position will hopefully lead to an enduring human-centric shift in the
workplace. 

Long-term, how will office culture change? What policies should change once everyone is physically back at work?

Relatedly, office cultures are likely to change in
irreversible ways. Even as we return to physical offices, large events like
company all-hands meetings may be attended virtually from personal workspaces,
and large team lunches may become rarities. Companies may even choose to
alternate days in and out of the office to keep the overall office population
lower.

“People will become more comfortable with video
calling, screen sharing, and online collaboration,” predicts Anderson,
“even between colleagues present in the same office. Boundaries will
become blurred and we will find new ways to stay in touch and maintain our
human connections by leveraging advanced collaboration solutions in new but
secure ways.”

Personal hygiene will also undoubtedly become a bigger
aspect of physical office culture. In its guidelines for safely returning to
work, the
CDC recommends
installing a workplace coordinator charged with implementing
hygiene best practices office wide. Suggested measures include increasing the
number of hand sanitizing stations available to workers, relaxing sick leave
policies to discourage ill workers from coming to the office, modernizing
ventilation systems, and even daily temperature checks upon entering the
building.

“Some of these hygiene measures will be single events, not
the future of office work,” notes Anderson. “Others will have more long-term
impacts on the way we work together.”

Given the visible impact some measures will have around the
office, it will be impossible for them to not affect culture. Because routines
like temperature checks may be considered intrusive, it’s important the
reasoning behind them be communicated clearly and often. Stressing a culture of
cleanliness as a means of keeping all workers healthy and safe can enforce a
common bond.

Cybersecurity remains imperative

Cyber resilience isn’t the only aspect of overall business
resilience
being tested by COVID-19, but it’s a significant one. The cyber
threats facing today’s remote workforces differ in key ways from those faced in
the past, so its important companies reevaluate their cyber defense strategies.

To do our part to help, we’re extending free
trials on select business products to 60 days for a limited time. Visit our free
trials
page or contact
us
for more information.

The post The Future of Work: Being Successful in the COVID Era and Beyond appeared first on Webroot Blog.