Despite everyone’s ardent wish that the pandemic will soon be over, the fact is, we’re still in the early innings of a brutal, long game. The new world that awaits us on the other side will look radically different than the one we remember before 2020. While there are bound to be many changes we cannot anticipate or even imagine, there are some predictions we are qualified to make with respect to what the workforce management environment will look like at the end of the pandemic. Here are some likely potentialities you can anticipate and prepare for as part of your workforce management operation.

Many of the features that will define the new workforce management normal are sure to revolve around the widespread adoption of work from home/telecommute options. For example, many organizations are already realizing that productivity doesn’t suffer when their workforce is performing tasks by remote. As a result, we’ve noted a trend of companies deciding they no longer need to sustain the expense associated with maintaining large physical office locations. As such, increased, sustained adoption of work from home arrangements is driving a wave of real estate downsizing.

When the pandemic comes to an end, the adoption of work from home arrangements will not be easy to reverse. In fact, industry experts suggest workforce managers will face a higher expectation to incorporate work from home options into their respective business models. This will likely require management to invest more in developing soft and collaborative skills among their workers to ensure virtual arrangements don’t result in employees growing too task oriented.

Hybrid arrangements to entice people back into engaging their daily commute to and from the office may become a common feature of the employment offer. Having proven that productivity does not suffer when workers perform their jobs remotely, hiring organizations are likely to be more flexible in terms of the work arrangements they offer to resources. This may even occur ahead of the end of the pandemic as the hybrid approach supports keeping more social distance in physical spaces by allowing a portion of the workforce to be offsite at any given time.

For those organizations determined to bring the workforce back on site full time, you can expect to see management programs designed to reduce the friction of reverting back to the old way of doing things. Workforce management experts suggest executive leadership take actions to lead by example, returning to the office full time ahead of the rank and file and the contingent workforce. This is expected to engender a greater sense of safety among the workforce. This step and others should be carefully considered and developed with a mind toward emphasizing practices that will yield high employee morale during a stressful transition into the new normal.

Other changes to historical workforce management processes are already feeling the effects of change. For example, hiring and onboarding processes are undergoing wholesale changes. Many companies are still hiring today in spite of the pandemic. This has rapidly accelerated the utilization of an array of technologies such as video interviews and virtual job fairs. These tech-driven means for filling and managing the talent pipeline were already in use but are likely to become the preferred method now and in perpetuity. The challenge will be using these technologies to such a degree as to ensure sufficient attention and communication is paid to the process of hiring and onboarding.

As always, nextSource is at the vanguard of growth and change in this industry and our experts are always up to the challenge when it comes to helping customers achieve the best results from their workforce management efforts. How can we help you create the new normal in your operations?