The COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world in 2020, causing unprecedented business shutdowns across all different industries and fields as everyone stayed home to keep each other safe. Now that many of us are back to work, we have returned to find the business sphere changed, possibly forever.
What Caused the Change?
Many employees got pushed past the breaking point over the last two and a half years, causing high levels of job turnover. Time off work and manageable workloads are no longer a request—they are nonnegotiable requirements, and workers are quitting jobs that won’t meet their standards.
As employees make their voices heard, businesses must adapt or crumble. So, many of them have adjusted company policies to meet employee needs. Here are just a few of the ways the pandemic changed business operations.
Greater Focus on Mental Health
Even individuals who did not previously struggle with mental health now report symptoms consistent with anxiety and depression. Many who dealt with these pre-pandemic conditions now find their symptoms worsened. Two years of constant stress and fear of the mortality of ourselves and our loved ones has caused a massive mental health crisis, affecting our performance at work.
That’s why it’s so essential that businesses provide mental health care to their employees. Employees are burnt out and have reached the breaking point—they are no longer willing to tolerate companies that deprioritize their mental wellness in exchange for the company’s bottom line.
The good news is that many of these companies are offering mental health care. Beyond mere discourse, companies provide workshops focused on workplace mental health, mental health days, and free counseling. These options are often available to all employees, not just those diagnosed with mental illness. This makes them much more accessible!
Alternative Workplace Solutions
Many employees are also unwilling to return to the office full-time, especially in an industry that doesn’t mandate it. When companies expected employees to work just fine virtually during the pandemic, why is it no longer an acceptable option now?
Many companies understand that the workplace model is changing and have adapted accordingly. Companies are offering remote and hybrid work options to employees. Some companies have gone entirely virtual, the office becoming an afterthought to the online sphere.
There’s no doubt that the pandemic changed business operations, but many would say these changes are for the better.