While the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020 and 2021 were highly positive for some industries it was undoubtably devastating for many others, there’s no doubt that the virus has had a transformative and profound effect on the way that we communicate, and make financial transactions to do business. As the pandemic slowly eases and becomes normalised, we’re seeing enduring after-effects that have influenced businesses to arguably improve employee working conditions. But what does this mean for workers in the UK and which post-COVID changes are here to stay? In this article, we’ll look at what corporate culture and the benefits of those changes have had on employee dynamics.
What corporate culture has learned since 2020
The widescale disruption of the labour market seen at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a range of changes in corporate culture and increased the acceleration of emerging business trends including e-commerce, automation, and remote working. Businesses in every sector were forced to digitise their products and services in order to stay afloat, whereas remote work has now become the accepted norm in the majority of industries. As well as changes to products, services and working methods, businesses were also forced to re-think health and safety policies and focus more on employee well-being and retention. Many companies now have dedicated strategies in place to counteract similar occurrences in the future.
The health and environmental benefits
While these disruptive elements have proved counterproductive for some businesses, the wider benefits for employee wellbeing and the environment are numerous. The reduction of commuter traffic has significantly reduced the rate of CO2 emissions in our major cities (increasing urban biodiversity in the process), whereas the rate of employee accidents in the workplace has also dropped due to the new emote working culture. Clients, consumers and employees are also less likely to get into an accident whilst travelling to and from work appointments, leaving them less vulnerable to serious injury and medical negligence during treatment and aftercare. We’ve also seen increasing levels of wellbeing and an improved work-life balance reported by many remote employees. This makes sense especially for those who are parenting as they now have more time in the house.
How business performance has fared since
The pandemic has been extremely damaging for many businesses and sectors, however there is an argument that many industries are now thriving in a post-COVID climate. Depending on the size, sector and structure of your business, you may have found that organisational and operational changes have enabled you to recoup revenue lost during the pandemic quickly, or even increase your profit margins altogether. The new remote working culture has been proven to foster higher levels of productivity amongst employees, whereas the digitization of many business processes has in fact simplified them and even reduced running costs. Only time will tell what the future holds for UK businesses post-pandemic, but it seems that many industries are already well out of the woods!