Workplace Challenges that Must Be Overcome to Succeed Post-COVID-19

Today’s business landscape is evolving rapidly, and as it does, new workplace challenges are emerging. To thrive after COVID-19, leaders must address and overcome these issues earlier rather than later.

Below, we’ll look at a few of the major obstacles facing today’s workers, then discuss strategies for mitigating and overcoming those challenges.

Workplace Challenges that Must Be Overcome to Succeed Post-COVID-19

In 2020, the business world changed radically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost overnight, businesses implemented telecommuting policies, new health measures, and more.

At the same time, COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation, as well as a number of other trends that were already in existence.

This new business landscape is uncertain and volatile. And this crisis will continue to affect the workplace for years to come.

Managers and leaders must be ready to keep up with these changes and the challenges they present.

Here are a few of the biggest challenges that must be overcome in order to succeed in 2021 and beyond:

Remote Working

There are clear benefits to remote working.

Many workers prefer telecommuting, for instance, and studies have shown that telecommuters are usually more productive.

However, remote working is not without its challenges.

Here are a few that managers should keep in mind:

  • Remote working tends to make employees feel more socially isolated
  • For those not used to telecommuting, it can be difficult to stay productive and focused
  • Collaboration with coworkers can also be difficult when they are no colocated

Fortunately, there are techniques managers can employ to overcome challenges such as these.

For instance:

  • Injecting online social activities into the workday can help teammates bond, even when they are working virtually
  • Educating employees on telecommuting best practices, such as creating a home office, can help workers concentrate and stay productive
  • Establishing communication protocols and rules of engagement can reduce miscommunications and friction

These are just a few ways that managers can tackle the challenges associated with remote working.

The best place to start, however, is by openly discussing the issues with employees, then creating solutions to suit one’s own virtual workplace.

Employee Upskilling

The digital revolution has brought about major technological advancements, new products, new forms of customer value, and more.

Yet the technological revolution is hardly over.

Digitization and digital transformation will continue to affect the workplace for the foreseeable future.

These trends will undoubtedly drive more innovation, efficiency, and performance improvements.

As digital technology evolves, however, employees must be ready to reskill and upskill. If they can’t, their productivity will suffer and impeded organizational performance.

Here are a few points managers should keep in mind when addressing the challenges associated with digital transformation and upskilling:

  • The type and quality of training directly affects employee learning, time-to-competency, and productivity, so it is worth creating a well-structured training program and optimizing that program over time
  • The digital employee experience also affects performance and learning, so it is important to create simple, smooth, and seamless training programs
  • New training tools, such as digital adoption platforms (DAPs), can streamline and automate much of the upskilling process – these tools are also useful because they can be used either online or at the workplace

Since digital technology will become so important in the post-COVID world, it is important for companies to continually adopt new tools and to ensure employees have the skills to use those tools.

Employee Agility

The world has been irrevocably changed by COVID-19, yet many analysts expect volatility for years to come.

To survive and thrive in an ever-changing world, old business models and processes must be replaced with ones that are more agile and flexible.

Employees must also be able to adapt. Upskilling, as mentioned, is one of the best ways to keep employees productive, but it is not the only factor at play.

Here are a few other ways that managers and leaders can improve employee agility:

  • Redesigning business processes and workflows around agile principles will help employees apply agile methods in their day-to-day workflows
  • Cultivating a culture that is pro-learning and open to new ideas can improve employees’ ability to adopt new tools, learn new workflows, and implement organizational transformations
  • Building an agile mindset into the company culture can help workers stay open to change and react more nimbly when changes do come

Behavior depends a great deal on attitudes, mindsets, and values – in short, on culture.

For employees, having the right workflow and the right skill set certainly matters, but it is equally important to cultivate the right mindset.

Final Thoughts

The post-COVID workplace will look different in many ways from the pre-2020 workplace.

Remote working, agile business processes, and digital-first workflows, for instance, will all become far more common.

Implementing changes such as these will certainly be a challenge for a number of organizations.

Yet those companies that can overcome them and adapt will stand a much better chance of succeeding in the post-COVID next normal.

Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.