Insight Center

Covid Changed How We Work

An open laptop with a plant and notebook in the background

In August of 2021, the Pew Research Center asked people to share how the pandemic has affected their personal lives. Around one-in-five (23%) felt that the pandemic had negatively impacted their or a friend’s job or career. Thirteen percent felt positive changes had occurred in their work situation. Better work-life balance, lack of commute, and have greater productivity were mentioned.1 Both negative and positive responses occurred, and it begs the question, “What’s our relationship with change?”

Working from home has required us to change individually. We have changed how we build relationships with coworkers. In some ways, we’ve become more human of each other. It’s common to be on a Zoom meeting and hear crying babies in the background or see pets walk across a colleague’s keyboard. In one conversation with a former colleague, she mentioned her willingness to show that she worked in the kitchen rather than opting for a virtual background.

There has also been an organizational change. We’ve adapted to company shifts in strategy and become pros collaborating online in real-time. Additionally, some companies are genuinely concerned about their employee’s welfare. LinkedIn gave ALL their 16,000 employees a week’s vacation to prevent burnout.2 White Castle increased their wages and included free meals during shifts.3

This combination of individual and organizational change has resulted in transformational change. Companies that have strategically managed to maintain their corporate culture during covid have retained employees and enjoyed higher productivity. A study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that organizations that were strategically aligned and could quickly pivot when needed earned 15% more in annual revenue than companies that were less adaptive.4

At Magic Hat Consulting, we know that effective change and organizational transformations occur when three criteria are met:

  1. Employee’s change aptitude is high.
  2. Organizational systems and process changes are managed well.
  3. Companies identify change aptitude as a culture value.

We help companies meet the above criterion and be better equipped to pivot between remote, return to the office, and hybrid configurations. Companies and their employees that are better adept at change during these times outperform those companies that do not.

Covid changed how we work – and how we’ll return to work. Let us know how and whether your company plans to bring employees back to the office. We can help.

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/2021/03/05/in-their-own-words-americans-describe-the-struggles-and-silver-linings-of-the-covid-19-pandemic/
  2. https://hbr.org/sponsored/2020/06/how-wework-can-help-new-yorkers-return-to-office-spaces-post-covid-19?autocomplete=true
  3. https://fortune.com/2021/06/21/bumble-vacation-office-closure-covid-burnout/
  4. Parsing organizational culture article (PDF)

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