CRISES OFFER the ultimate test for organisations. Under the pressure of a pandemic, many firms will change the way they operate. Three trends that were already in train may be accelerated. First, the way that meetings are undertaken. Second, the way that teams are organised. Third, the widening divide between company insiders, namely full-time employees, and outsiders, such as freelancers and contractors.
So many meetings have been conducted via Zoom and other apps that bosses may decide that this is a better approach than gathering everyone together in one fusty room. One estimate is that 2.1m people downloaded the Zoom app on March 23rd, the day Britain went into lockdown and the World Health Organisation warned that the pandemic was “accelerating”. Even when people start returning to offices, many of those who did not catch the virus will be nervous about being in close proximity to their colleagues.
Remote meetings have drawbacks. Conversations can be clunky and stilted, and not everyone (including Bartleby) welcomes the need to be on camera. So physical meetings will not disappear altogether, but they will be a smaller proportion of the total.
Another change will be a greater focus on communication between key employees. Worker interaction involves a lot more than meetings. Traditionally, people have popped...
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