• Lluís M. Ventura

The pre-COVID state is not coming back

With the COVID vaccine on the horizon, many have the idea that things will be able to go back to the ways of the past. Resetting our previous lives, going directly back to the way things were in the pre-COVID era. Well, I’m sorry to tell you that, according to what experts say, this will not be a quick transition back to normal.

It is common sense to think that most of humanity will not be vaccinated in a matter of days but rather in a matter of months or even years. But, in regard to work, thinking that the day after there’s a vaccine on the market in your country people will go back to their face-to-face work at the office - may be frustrating. Especially for those that really want this.

But why? Well, there are two main reasons, besides the immunization point, that make it improbable to reestablish our previous situation. On one hand, companies have “invested significantly in the infrastructure and documentation to make working remotely effective”, as Brianne Kimmel wrote to TechCrunch. On the other, employees may now expect more flexibility in relation to their work in the post-COVID era.

Now that employers and managers have delegated to their employees the ability to organize their own tasks and time, they’ve realized that it’s cheaper. In fact, it’s more profitable than paying for a cool, trendy, and expensive office.

But also, employees have learned to be more self-sufficient, organizing and finding a balance between personal and professional life, working asynchronously and project-focused. Now, going back to a pre-established timetable, wasting time commuting, and getting back to old-style face-to-face meetings may actually be unmotivating.

If you are into this new post-COVID era and prefer remote, asynchronous work, try Comeet’s free tool for optimizing your work time to find a real personal-professional balance.

Of course, there probably are some people who have simply not adapted to the COVID work era and are willing to go back to the past. Some for giving orders and others for obeying them from 8 am to 5 pm. But I’m afraid that a balance between them both will have to be found. The future will not be 100% remote; we will travel to see customers - but not always. There will be face-to-face meetings - but not always. We will go to the office - but not every day. We will probably travel less, commute less and video meet more, working more asynchronously.

We’ll see each other again in the future, but the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. restriction in the office won’t return, and, actually, we wouldn’t want it to anyway. Big challenges imply big changes! And most of them are for the greater good!