For most people, dealing with Covid-19 for nearly two years has been a nightmare. Even as we (hopefully) near the end of all of this, the pandemic has left lasting effects on us in both our personal and professional lives. And while so much of this has been tragic and senseless, there have been rays of light amongst all of the darkness.
One of these blessings in disguise is the humanization of the workforce. For so long, the American way has been to work, work, work! Many would take pride in the fact that they work from sunup to sundown with few breaks in between. Showing up to the office while sick would earn you a badge of honor. The idea of “working from home” would have been laughable in many office settings, and don’t even think about admitting that your kids were there — let alone even mention that you have kids.
However, things have changed. The world as we knew it in early 2020 is a thing of the past. There is little that has gone untouched by this pandemic, and the workplace is no exception. Human nature often makes people hesitant about change and so, in many ways, this pandemic has forced us all to think outside of the box. And in this case that has been a good thing. It literally became a matter of survival, and in order to survive, we have all had to be open-minded, both employers and employees.
Before Covid, the idea that people could be trusted to do good work on their own turf, away from the office, was a crazy one. But these days, working remotely is the norm. Many have found that this setup allows for better work-life balance and it actually results in greater productivity. Another benefit of working remotely is the ability to tap into a wider net of talent. Here at BOCA, our team is spread out around the country and we are stronger and more diverse because of it. Evolving the workplace is empowering for all and unleashes endless possibilities.
Having a strong workplace culture has never been more important, and those companies that went into Covid with a preexisting culture have probably found it to be an easier transition. Relationships are everything and valuing each other as people and not just employees is key. The pandemic gave us all a peek into each other’s day-to-day as we were Zooming from our living rooms or makeshift offices at the kitchen table. Suddenly we weren’t just sharing office space, but we were sharing a piece of our at-home lives too. This humanizes us.
In addition to the spread of Covid, 2020 saw an increase in hate crimes and extreme racial injustice. Many companies took this opportunity to expand on diversity and inclusion training. This is obviously beneficial for all because as we learn more about each other, we also learn about ourselves and reflect on our own biases. This makes us a stronger team, a smarter team, and a more compassionate team.
Here is the reality: we are ALL human. We all have lives and responsibilities outside of work. We all get sick. We all crave happiness and fulfillment. We are all going on this crazy ride of life together. Living through this pandemic has reminded us of these facts and forced the working world to reevaluate its expectations. It has humanized us, and that is something we can be grateful for.