COVID-19 has not only changed the way companies around the world do business, but has created a “new normal”. At SupportNinja, we’ve seen these changes happen firsthand and in real time since we provide support for some of tech's biggest disruptors. What I’ve started to recognize is that the ‘short-term’ solutions that COVID-19 inadvertently created actually turned into the strategies industry disruptors will now use to create the best employee-focused experiences possible.
So, it left me wondering, how many other ways is COVID-19 going to impact business as we know it?
Remote Culture And Its Impact
No Need For An Office
Who needs to work in an office anymore? The world was already starting to embrace this new “remote” culture, but the impacts of COVID-19 and the requirement to “shelter-in-place” forced most companies to pivot almost overnight. During this, a funny thing happened, business still went on, companies still flourished, productivity increased, and employees were happier. For many of our clients at SupportNinja, we started seeing a more hybrid approach where most of the work is happening remotely, but the office is still available for those who seek more in-person connections that human beings as a whole still desire.
Did we just get a raise? If you feel like you have a little extra money floating around since you’ve been working from home, you’re not alone. It took me a couple of paychecks to figure it out, but I’m saving roughly 20% more just from not going into work every day. No more hour-long, gas-guzzling commutes, no more expensive lunches eating out, no more after-hours cocktails at the nearest bar. At this point, I’ve learned how to make a mean old fashioned, and honestly, I’m not sure I want to pay $15 for one ever again!
What does business casual even mean? I’ve worked at startups for the majority of my career, and the dress code has almost always been some version “business casual”. A pair of Levi’s, maybe a nice Henley or a button-up, and definitely lots of company branded t-shirts. After a long day, the first thing I’d do was change into a pair of basketball shorts, and a baggy tank top. To me this is comfort, and I’m sure most of you have some version of your comfort clothes. Now that we’re all working from home, in the last 3 months I don’t think I’ve put on a pair of jeans or a shirt that has sleeves! The only caveat of course is if I had a video conference with a client or prospective client, which begs an even deeper question, what does digital etiquette post COVID-19 look like? (Stay tuned for my next blog post.)
Digital Happy Hours
Do I still get snacks and fizzy waters? There is a running joke in the startup community called the [insert company name] fifteen. This alludes to the weight gain caused by the free snacks, Monsters, Red Bulls, and in many cases catered breakfasts and lunches. While most people don’t find themselves with a two Monster-a-day habit (like me), the perks are pretty sweet! What do start-up culture benefits look like in this new normal? Instead of catered lunches, will we see a monthly UberEats stipend or a weekly Nespresso allotment? I’m not sure, but what I do know is I’m excited to see what our fearless leaders come up with to continue to attract top talent! My vote? An OrangeTheory membership! Let’s get on the fitness train instead of eating and drinking snacks at work all day.