What will the new normal look like?

Change in the workplace is happening faster than ever right now, and there’s lots of predictions about what the new normal will look like, and discussions on how to manage these changes.

People are talking about work flexibility, workplace culture, employee wellbeing and technology and infrastructure changes.

Organisations are also projected to become more flexible in how they operate, develop more resilience and change the role of geography in their services and suppliers.

Let’s look at all of this in more detail.

Watch the next video in this series here:

Part 2 – The Psychology of Change: What Exactly Is Change?

And if you know of anyone who would benefit from this video, please share it with them.

Video Transcript

Predictions of the new normal

Hi, Andrew from SACS.

And welcome to video number one of our six video sequence on change management.

We’re taking a psychological view of change management and this particular video is about the new normal.

What we’re doing is we’re looking at people’s predictions of what the new normal is likely to be.

You’ll see from the screen (refer to the video) that there’s a range of other topics we’ll be talking about – what is change from a psychological point of view, why do people vary in their acceptance of change, preconditions of change and change fatigue, the neuroscience of change, and then how to do change.

But in particular, this video is all about what people say the new normal is going to be.

So the first group of predictions are about work and the workforce.

Flexible working

And virtually all of these firms are suggesting that there will be an enduring increase in flexible work and working from home.

And of course, everybody has seen the benefits of working from home – lower costs of accommodation, lower costs of hiring in many cases, because you don’t have to relocate candidates, better fields, because if the candidate that you’re looking for happens to be in Guatemala rather than in the next suburb, that’s fine.

So flexibility from work and workforce culture.

Culture & wellbeing

Lots of forecasts on culture.

So people suggesting that there’s going to be an extremely strong focus on levels of wellbeing of employees.

Now, COVID-19 caused people to focus on levels of well being of employees.

But the firms that we are reporting here (refer to the video) are not saying that this is likely to be a temporary thing. They’re saying that this is likely to be an enduring thing.

And certainly we’re seeing that here in Australia and New Zealand where people are very interested in wellbeing, psychological wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and trying to create a culture which is very cooperative and integrated in achieving the goals that you need.

Technology & infrastructure

Technology and infrastructure.

Well, lots of changes over the last few years in technology and infrastructure.

I mean, I had a conversation with somebody yesterday about the COVID world and thinking back five years ago, how we would have coped? Five years ago, you didn’t have digital technology such as video conferencing being so incredibly widely available.

Video conferencing was expensive, was inflexible. You needed somebody with the same technology at the other end, going back say a decade ago. So all of that has helped us to be much more flexible.

But I believe that it will also contribute to the idea of working from home.

Business operating models

Then there are forecasts about business and operating models. And a range of things that are identified as likely changes.

One is flexibility, where organisations will flex to meet the needs of their customers much more locally.

So instead of global solutions, much more local solutions. One of the things that I think is interesting is that a lot of people are forecasting that there may be more of a localisation of services.

Local vs global

I’m not convinced about that personally.

I think that what will tend to happen is that people will use this technology to identify best quality suppliers from around the world in a way that perhaps they haven’t in the past, and certainly, that is a trend that’s emerging right now.

We’ve even seen this in our own practise, that organisations in certain geographical locations who may have insisted in the past of suppliers in their own geographical area.

They don’t seem anywhere near as concerned about that right now.

But whatever you subscribe to and whatever you believe in, one of the things that we know is that change is not going to stop. Change is here to stay and change will continue to happen.

Business transformation

So if you distil all of that there are some key strategic themes – business transformation has been accelerated by the COVID experience and a range of services, virtualisation, telehealth, services which are being provided through technology which will develop to support this.

An enormous emphasis on culture. I’ve never heard people talk so much about culture as I have in the last five or six months.

Ongoing changes to business models, disruption and also a tendency to attempt to disaster-proof businesses.

And economic uncertainty that arises from all of this, the post-COVID world, whether it’s going to be a rapid response to back to full growth or whether it’s going to be a gradual recovery.

All of that stuff is yet to play out.

But the one thing that we know is that change is here to stay.

The next video in the sequence is all about what is change psychologically, trying to get a handle on the psychological nature of change.

Watch the next video in this series to find out more about effective change management practices:

Part 2 – The Psychology of Change: What Exactly Is Change?

And if you’d like some help to measure the change resistance of your incoming recruits or the current engagement levels of your staff, contact us about our Employee Engagement Surveys.

SACS Consulting
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