Post-pandemic work will be different

COVID forced people to change the way some work gets done. Those changes could become permanent.

The shift happened quickly – more quickly than anyone thought possible. When states like Michigan shut down their economies in mid-March, many employers moved their business models to allow people to work from home.

Seven months later, remote work has become a standard way of doing business, at least for people whose jobs don’t rely on face-to-face interaction.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

It isn’t a new trend. Workplaces have been flirting with remote work for years. The pandemic simply accelerated shifts that were already happening.

It isn’t just businesses that changed either. Governments had to quickly move to online systems to allow important processes to continue during stay-at-home orders in the spring. In Michigan, the governor issued orders allowing government meetings to be held virtually. The secretary of state’s office restricted most of its services to be online-only. And thousands of civil servants were authorized to take their work home with them.

Many of those changes to work requirements may continue even after the pandemic ends, according to an article on Route Fifty. The article cites several people including the vice chief of staff of the Air Force General Stephen W. Wilson.

The pandemic has “changed the paradigm on how we’re going to do work,” he said. He expects as many as a third of the Air Force’s workforce to continue to work remotely once the pandemic ends.

But it’s not all roses. Work online is different from work in person, and it presents its own challenges. Among the problems is the fact that it’s hard to build interpersonal relationships and team cohesion when people can’t interact face-to-face.

You can read the full story here.

Support local. Donate today to Kalamazoo's only locally owned and independent daily news organization.