Peter Osanebi: How COVID-19 Will Change The Future Of Work
With the COVID-19 pandemic infecting over a million people and recording mortality of over 50 thousand as of writing, can it have a positive effect in the workplace?
Through the course of history, wars and pandemic have helped to revolutionize the way we work. Before World War 2, women were believed to be homemakers or in today’s world, they belong to the other room or rooms. But World War 2 changed that narrative; with millions of American men off to fight across the Atlantic and Pacific, women were called up to take their place on production lines, civil service, and even the military. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Second World War has estimated fatalities of 56.4 million but today’s workplace has changed over the past few decades because of the active role played by women during the war.
Wars are caused by macroparasites men killing men but diseases are caused by microparasites e.g bacteria or viruses. Pandemic has always altered the way people live either from the religious, cultural or socio-economic aspects of their lives. The role of infectious diseases in the natural balance of man cannot be overemphasized. William H. McNeil, in his book titled Plagues and People, explained how the smallpox epidemic changed the religious beliefs of the Amerindians. The Spanish flu of 1918, which killed at least 50 million people had a socio-economic impact on the lives of people. Don C. Ohadike in his article titled Diffusion and Physiological responses to the influenza pandemic of 1918-19; wrote that the pandemic changed the dietary intake in southern Nigeria, encouraging the cultivation and adoption of cassava as a staple food.
The question is, how would the Coronavirus impact the workplace? I believe that remote work would be greatly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Working from home is not a new concept; it has been part of human civilization for hundreds of years. The concept of work homes plummeted during the industrial revolution but thanks to technology the term remote work started making a resurgence in the 1970s.
With the lockdown situation been experienced by many nations of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are using remote work to continue to stay in business. I believe that this trend would continue after the C0VID-19 pandemic has been eradicated from the World. For employees who have been able to deliver company goals during this period, there is no better time for them to demand a flexible working style from their employers and working from home would be a major item on the list of their demands.
Coronavirus has had a major impact on the global economy; with a 60% slump in oil price, stock prices plummeting and businesses shutting down, cost-saving would be the watchword among business owners and business executives after the pandemic. One strategy to achieve this is remote work which would help to reduce significant overhead costs like rent, repairs, and utilities.
Amidst the negatives of the coronavirus pandemic, one positive is that families have been brought closer and united. I believe after the pandemic, employees would want this to continue and remote work would be massive in achieving this.
We all love technology; from the microwave oven to handheld devices like the cellphone, these devices have revolutionized the way we live and work. With the majority of the countries of the world on lockdown, technologically driven businesses are still operational with employees working from home. With more businesses leveraging on technology to deliver services after the pandemic and has technology improves this would pave way for remote work to be possible.
Even as we all try to stay safe during this period, it is also important that we prepare for the changes that the Coronavirus pandemic would bring especially in the workplace and one such change is remote work which one author puts as the future of work.
This piece was written by Osanebi Peter
Osanebi Peter Edward is the Founder of Enintech Energy Limited. He has been involved in Business Development for the past 6 years. Osanebi is an alumnus of The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program (TEEP) and also a finalist in The Sterling Bank Meet the Executives Business Competition 2016.