Redefining Work — The Top 4 Post-COVID Work Models
It will become important for organisations to share their post-COVID insights, no matter what their field. Perhaps, these work models were always underway, but the pandemic has certainly accelerated the growth of remote work and affected the way offices are going to look hereafter.
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If someone told you that a tiny, minuscule thing that you cannot even see with your naked eyes would change your entire life, you would not probably believe it. But that is the reality of today. One small virus has brought about major life changes for all of us. And workspaces are no exception to this. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced working spaces to alter their previous patterns and adopt new work models.
What does a work model mean?
A work model encompasses structural, logistical and cultural aspects of work and work environment. It is an amalgamation of employees’ preferences, attitudes towards both the work and the workplace. A work model generally defines how workspaces usually work with setting patterns to carry out the tasks and delegate power to some stakeholders.
What kind of work models have we followed till now?
As the influence of traditional workplaces goes, there is an office space dedicated to work. In terms of employees, there is a clear cut hierarchy based on education and work experience. There is a division of labour with set boundaries. There are also unsaid rules about codes of conduct in such working spaces.
New work model — is it really new?
When we talk about the new work model, it is important to understand that the changes happening in work models are gradual and more subtle. Hence, there cannot be lines drawn around what could be called a traditional work model and what could be called a new work model.
These lines are blurred because of changes happening at smaller scales. After a rise in the startup culture, office spaces have been thought as something that needs to be carefully designed for the employees.
How has the pandemic affected the work models?
After the outbreak of COVID, workplaces started undergoing rapid, significant changes. There is a heavy reliance on technology. There are tasks and meetings conducted online, which, a few weeks ago, was not even deemed as possible.
Post-COVID work models
Let us have a look at the work trends in 2021 and learn all about the new work models that came to be owing to the outbreak of the pandemic:
- A mixture of centralised space with working from home
This kind of model is one gradual step ahead of traditional work markets now. It is not going to be possible to make a lot of advancements in a single go. So this kind of work model is promoted as taking into account an employee’s family life. This model, as the name suggests, includes the usage of main office space for at least 50% of the time. The days of the employees can be shuffled to avoid unnecessary crowding in the workplace.
While the employees will spend the majority of the period at the workplace, there will also be opportunities to work from home as per the convenience of both the employer and employee. On the one hand, an office space offers you a favourable work environment; on the other, a work from home setting can provide some amount of liberty to your work. Having a balance of both is important to practise professional ethics while enjoying personal space and liberty.
This model is useful for industries where there is a higher need for monitoring. Because of such need, centralised office space becomes important, but once work is delegated, it can become the decision of an individual where they want to work from.
A key feature of this model that needs to be kept in mind is that the same employees will work from both the spaces at different times.
- A mixture of centralised office and working from a remote location
This kind of model, proposed for the new working world, is supposed to have a centralised working space. Along with that, there will be a team of people working remotely. There will be a set of employees attending the office on a regular basis and a completely different team of a mobile workforce. The division of labour and responsibilities will be accordingly done so that they can be managed by the people as per their work type.
The industries and projects where skilled and experienced people can be hired to work remotely will make use of this model. Certain decisions, which need to be taken in person, will be taken by a team attending office. The actual tasks can be delegated to people working from remote places. This model will make it possible for companies to hire talented people from different remote spaces.
This work culture will lay strong foundations of the company but will spread the roots farther with employees spread in different areas. There might not be any apparent benefits immediately, but it will surely create a positive impact in the years to come and create a good network across a larger area. Middle-aged companies, which already are earning a good amount of revenue, will find it easier to switch to this model.
- Fully remote work without any office space
This is the latest work model which makes complete use of remote working. Many companies, which are in their formative years, would prefer this work model which will have all their whole workforce operating remotely. It does not mean that the employees will never meet. The employees can make periodic meetings, but there will be no dedicated workspace for them.
Since this kind of work model does not have a physical space, the work is highly individualised with an equal share of responsibility with everyone. There is also a breakup of tasks between employees which can be interdependent, but the work is more parallel in nature. The employees have to be driven and motivated for these kinds of tasks since all are working parallelly, and there is no one mediating and monitoring work in a hierarchy.
Even though this might sound scary for the company, these kinds of organisations promote healthier relationships and an extremely independent, competent staff. This also helps companies build gig workforce. The people who are a part of such an organisation learn a lot and provide opportunities for mutual growth. There are high chances of them turning out to be good leaders.
Logistically, this kind of organisation also becomes cost-effective in the long run.
- Hybrid mode
Hybrid mode is when individuals are working from their own spaces. At the same time, individual professionals can be working at multiple projects and can be hired by various people. As long as they are delivering high-quality work, there is no issue of them being employed at more than one place.
Here, the company is hiring the individuals only for the purpose of the work that they have. But the onus of working on the right track, providing correct deliverables and facilitating growth and development through work falls on themselves.
Instead of adopting this model organisation-wide, hybrid mode is more like a project-based approach. This kind of approach is adopted by organisations who are willing to grow and are trying and testing various new avenues. Hence, it becomes important that this phase is treated with sincerity by the independent workers.
No matter which model the organisation is adopting, there is certainly going to be a difference in the approach they follow. It will become important for organisations to share their post-COVID insights, no matter what their field. Perhaps, these work models were always underway, but the pandemic has certainly accelerated the growth of remote work and affected the way offices are going to look hereafter.
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