Chances are, your organization made massive changes because of coronavirus shelter-in-place and other orders. Some of them should be temporary, but some of the changes should be permanent. Let's look at a few things that have changed.
Destigmatized Working From Home
Jobs that a month ago, managers said could not possibly be done remotely, are now being done from home. While exact numbers aren't available, it is undoubtedly opening managers' eyes to what truly can be done remotely and what needs to be done on-site.
Companies should take note of future Americans with Disabilities Act requests for reasonable accommodations. Working from home can be a reasonable accommodation, and businesses will have a hard time arguing that working in the office is always required when it's not required right now.
Working at home today can impact your business for years to come. Some organizations will learn that they can operate just fine with most people working remotely. Some will discover that things really do work better when they are in the office. Likewise, some employees will rejoice in their 30-second commutes, and others are counting down the days when they can get back to the office.
The Department of Homeland Security temporarily lifted its restrictions for I 9 forms--those are the forms you fill out when you start a new job. You're required to show your identification, in person. Because so many people are working from home, the government is waiving the in-person requirement and allowing verification "over video link, fax, or email, etc." This is set in place temporarily until May 20, 2020, but hopefully, it will stay that way.
Telemedicine opened up when the government decided to allow state-regulated insurance companies to pay for such visits. You want to keep people from catching coronavirus (or anything else) when visiting a doctor's office, and this can help. But, this also lowers costs and increases flexibility.
Imagine a future where, instead of sitting in a doctor's office waiting room for two hours, you stay at work, and the receptionist calls you and says, "the doctor will see you now." (Of course, this won't work open office environments.) Businesses and individuals look for ways to save money, and this could be one of them.
One city in New Jersey suspended the need for permits for "minor" repair work, saying that notification is enough, and they'll inspect later. This red-tape cutting can help small businesses prosper in times when many are laying people off.
The global pandemic made Google busier than usual--so it dropped its company-wide performance reviews--for the time being. The goal is for Google employees to focus their time on "pressing, mission critical issues amid the coronavirus pandemic."
Many alcohol producers have started making hand sanitizer. That requires retraining and retooling. And yet, businesses are doing it on the fly. Talk about agility!
And car manufacturers switched their production lines to make ventilators and masks. Again, think of what you need to do to accomplish that. Companies are working with more flexibility than ever before. These skills will help companies be successful in the future.
While we focus on many problems due to coronavirus shutdowns, not everything is negative. Sometimes it's essential to look at the good things coming out of a crisis.