Lockdowns were a difficult time for everyone. Not only were we cut off from friends and family, had our freedoms limited, worried about the health of loved ones, but many of us worked remotely for the first time. As concern grows about the Omicron variant, it’s time for businesses to adopt amore resilient approach to the workplace - The Virtual Workplace, based in the metaverse.
The new variant’s threat
Following the discovery of the new Omicron variant, we are left wondering if we will be in the same situation we were in in Spring 2020, and for how long. Restrictions are starting to pick up again, including the return of mandatory face masks. Working from home has been advised by the government again. The general consensus is that Covid-19 will remain with us for sometime, and we will have to tackle the virus and changing variants.
Remote work has already caused difficulty for thousands
Is it time to adopt a more resilient approach to the workplace and learn from Covid lockdown mistakes? When remote work was first made a reality, thousands of people in the UK were forced to work from home, turning dinner tables into office desks and dramatically changing their routine - for good and for bad.
There were huge gaps when we entered the first lockdown. Surprisingly, many of the issues have remained, even for companies that have adopted a remote or hybrid approach on a more permanent basis. Employee wellbeing has been affected and we are now witnessing the results of this in the great resignation - people who aren’t happy in their jobs now simply know that there are other businesses out there that will treat them better.
Zoom fatigue has also set in. Research from Harvard Business Review has shown that videocalls are intensely draining because they require us to stare intently at a screen while maintaining a conversation and absorbing information - the lack of visual or mental breaks make it easier to lose focus during the call and exhausts us.
Colleagues have also lost the spontaneous conversations that used to take place in the office. Now the only time to talk to workmates is during a scheduled meeting. Loneliness during Covid increased, and career progression was halted for a number of professionals.
It’s clear that most businesses were not equipped or resilient in their planning for remote working. And at the start of 2020 when all this kicked off, why would they have been? As the pandemic is not looking likely to go away anytime soon, and as we all embrace the benefits of hybrid working, now is the time for businesses to have a future proofed long term solution to hybrid and remote working.
At PixelMax’s launch event, Sarah Clarke (MBPsS), Organisational Psychologist at the Occupational Mind Group stated “Companies really focussed on the office environment to make it somewhere people enjoyed working and were productive and engaged. Tech companies had some amazing environments- ball pools, slides, table tennis, etc. But this only worked pre-pandemic. Now more than 80% want to work in a hybrid way. So how do we manage wellness in a post-pandemic world? People are suffering from Zoom and Teams fatigue. We need to rethink the technology we use and the solutions we use. How do we improve our working lives with the tech we have out there? I have three sons who would live in Fortnite if they could, why can’t we have that in the business world? A platform where people want to exist and engage?”
Hybrid and remote working should be engaging - enter the virtual workplace
To make working an enjoyable and natural experience for employees again, it’s time to adopt a Virtual Workplace.
In order for British businesses to thrive and embrace the digital revolution, it’s advisable to create an immersive, fully-branded 3D workplace that embraces remote work and office-based work in one place, without any disadvantages to staff based on location. The virtual workplace solves this problem, creating an engaging environment that employees enjoy. In a Virtual Workplace, the experience is enriching, which in turn boosts productivity, engagement and output. It also has a positive impact on employee well-being and mental health. Connecting with co-workers is effortless and there are hundreds of customisation options for self-expression. There are minigames and wellbeing areas with guided meditation and exercise classes available to suit anyone’s needs.
The future trend of digitalisation
Although this article has discussed the difficulties of remote working, it is hard to deny the clear benefits that we value when working from home. There was a boost in productivity, workers had more of a work-life balance, and hundreds of pounds on travelling and commuting was saved. Workers do not want to sacrifice the positive aspects of remote working.
There is a clear trend toward digitalisation and employees are already interested in how companies manage remote work. The Virtual Workplaces that PixelMax have created are available right now. It’s time to adopt the Virtual Workplace to attract and retain the best talent in the industry.