Much has been written in the past weeks and months about the business impact of the COVID-19 crisis. I, along with many others, have written extensively about the almost-overnight transition to remote work, as well as many other changes companies implemented to adapt. Now, I will be focusing on considerations for returning to work.
I’m not sure if it is too early yet to be thinking of the post-pandemic world, the so-called “new normal” or whatever phrase gets coined to describe the changed environment and workplaces that we, collectively, are going to concurrently inherit and create.
This pandemic has demonstrated just how brittle our society is. A tiny virus has drastically upset our lives, our economies and our societies. In a time like this, resilience—the ability to adapt and bounce back—will be one of the most important characteristics that will help us recover.
But how do we design our organizations for resilience? Here are four things to consider:
As workforces around the world adjust to the changes being ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic, technology will likely be more important than ever.
At IBM, the company’s investments in online learning and collaboration tools are paying off, says CHRO Diane Gherson. Employees are using the tools to aid other employees in addition to getting their own work done.
“Every minute, I’ve been getting messages about employees assisting each other on these platforms,” says Gherson, HRE’s 2018 HR Executive of the Year. IBMers have created pages of resources on topics ranging from technical advice to taking care of toddlers while working. “It’s been incredible, this rallying around. It’s led to a community that people can go to for help when they have specific questions.”
Even when the bulk of IBM’s workforce returns to the office (as at many organizations, a number of IBMers have continued their on-site work), health and safety will be paramount, says Gherson.
The HR Tech team is once again gearing up to deliver an enriched program to attendees this fall with the same overall intention it has had for the past 20 years: to help HR and IT professionals advance their organization’s HR success through technology today while preparing for tomorrow.