Everyone around the globe will probably agree that the Coronavirus is a tragedy on multiple levels, but at the same time, if we want to see the other side of the coin, it may have pushed the forward button on some good developments at the workplace as well.

Day after day the pandemic outbreak is pushing us into corners, but necessity is the mother of invention, so people managed to find ways out, entrepreneurs kept finding opportunities, employers kept searching for solutions to keep their businesses afloat, and innovation is no longer "just" important, but it is a survival kit.

On one hand, the Covid-19 crisis is forcing more people to work remotely, employees are developing new skills and comfort levels. Unimportant tasks are being ignored and may vanish. Businesses will understand what jobs really need to be done and will attempt to re-engineer the workplace accordingly. This will result in many jobs being cut and redefined. On the other hand, this outbreak is speeding up the advancement of workplace technologies and protocols and ultimately reshaping multiple industries as everything from conferences to collaboration to sales and commercial services are rethought.

So to be positive, the Coronavirus may just show us better ways to get things done. How employees prepare themselves, gear-up, and work on their skills after the current crises will be telling. One thing is certain: The coronavirus is likely to mean that the definition of "business as usual" will change.

Looking at the big picture, these are some of the impacts of Coronavirus as I see it on the workplace:

-The most noted change is remote working. Both public and private sector organizations are forced to move into the cloud faster, using Microsoft Teams and Zoom Video Communications. Soon we will surely be thinking and considering, what was the point of larger workspaces and very expensive rents? Road traffics? Workplace Attendance Systems. And even -as extreme as this may sound- the number of employees needed to run certain tasks. Employment will inevitably change.

- Many policies and perceptions are changing, this includes companies redefining health and safety measures, and matters like contingency plans and business continuity plans are no longer adocument on the shelf.

- There was a very high resistance for e-commerce and online trades, especially in our part of the world. Now, the majority prefer to shop online!! People are forced to keep their life going, and toavoid the risk and maintain the social distancing measures, their buying behaviors and habits are changing.

- Most of the major events around the world have been cut, stopped, and postponed, almost in every single industry. What may happen? Possibly webinars and video conferences are the future! Again, many applications and software are becoming a crucial part of our day to day operations.

These are just examples of how the Covid-19 outbreak is changing the workplace and the direction of the economy, and accordingly the key to survival in the workplace. The jobless claims in the US that used to average around 200k claims per week, exceeded 6 million claims early April, and the unemployment rate that used to average around 4% is expected to exceed 20% before the end of 2020 in the US, and 30% globally. Who will manage to keep their jobs and stand out in the future is all dependent on how they would react, and how fast they will.

Ahmed H. Janahi

Ahmed Janahi is a leading figure in the training and consultancy sector for lending a voice in the fast emerging management training industry. As a consultant and lecturer, he has advised educational programs and both public and private sectors and is currently a Manager at Tamkeen.

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