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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article17 September 2021European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

Five things companies did in the pandemic that are here to stay

How and where we work quickly changed when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020. We take a look at which of these changes will remain once all restrictions are lifted.

Five things companies did in the pandemic that are here to stay

Remote working

Working from home eliminates commutes as well as the need for communal office spaces, saving employers and employees both time and money. Avoiding long hours stuck in traffic gives employees more time to spend doing things they enjoy and reduces transport bills. At the same time, decreasing office spaces or getting rid of them altogether could save companies a significant amount of money, making the idea not only popular among staff but hugely profitable.

Virtual meetings and events

One of the first changes caused by the pandemic was cancelling all in-person gatherings. Instead, businesses turned to a variety of online platforms, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, to hold meetings and events to continue facilitating group interactions. The shift enabled those working from home to partake in events and communicate well with colleagues. It also meant that more people could attend the online sessions as they no longer needed to be onsite at a particular time. Over time, meetings became shorter and more regular as a result of the pandemic, travel costs for all involved were reduced and employees gained more time to focus on other tasks.

Flexible working hours

With some staff balancing childcare responsibilities and different working environments throughout the pandemic, flexible working became increasingly popular across Europe. Adjusting working hours to accommodate different commitments and lifestyles has proven to increase productivity as well as the work-life balance of individuals. When asked in various COVID-19 company surveys over the last year, staff across the world told their employers they felt their work was either maintained or improved with new flexible working policies.

Digital recruitment

To adhere to a range of COVID-19 restrictions, companies all over the world adjusted their recruitment methods in order to keep taking on new staff during the global pandemic. This caused a shift to ‘virtual hiring’ which involves interviewing candidates using online platforms and utilising online tests and surveys to identify the best fit for the team. Digital recruitment processes (also known as e-recruitment) have proved to be efficient and cost-effective, leaving HR departments enthusiastic about continuing to use these new methods and tools.

Online training

Traditionally, in-person training was the most common way to onboard new staff and upskill existing staff. This often included inviting a specific expert to travel to a separate location or asking peers to create presentations to share their knowledge with a room full of colleagues. However, since the pandemic there has been a huge spike in online training, making experts more accessible to staff, allowing more people to attend training sessions and saving time moving around office buildings. Attending training sessions from anywhere in the world has opened up learning opportunities for all businesses.

To learn more about working in a post COVID-19 world, see our How to organise a successful online job interview.

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