The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of difficulties in our life. It impacted big and small companies. Companies that were able to prepare in advance and adapt to the pandemic were able to survive. However, some companies were not as lucky, and others could not adjust to the new normal causing many businesses to close.
What separated these surviving companies from those who failed? Working in one of the companies that successfully overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, I can say we survived due to our leader’s strive towards digitalization and continuous technological growth. Some may fear digitalization, but Citibank, where I work, embraced it like a second skin. We believe that through the help of digitalization and new technology, we can reach more clients, serve our customers to the best of our ability and improve our human resources.
When others saw it as a threat, we saw it as an opportunity. This mindset contributed to the company’s success in preparing and adapting to the new normal during the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, we already had work from home as part of the company’s work-life balance initiative. The company continues to improve these through time, with the employees and customers in mind as the company’s inspiration. These initiatives and its long-term strategy have helped its employees achieve work-life balance and facilitated the company’s survival during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some companies may see these initiatives as additional costs, employees interpret it as how their company values its human workforce as the heart of its organization.
Other companies did their best to adapt to the work-from-home setup during the pandemic to ensure business continuity. Working from home is a challenge for some employees due to internet connection, power interruption and family pressure. It can also increase workload, etc. But if we look at it from a different perspective, this is a great opportunity. Work from home enables us to work in the safety of our homes, and it also gives us more time with our family. We can now spend the 2-3 hours traveling time going to work eating breakfast with our kids and family, or it can be extra sleep and recreation time for you. Besides the advantage of family bonding, let’s not forget the cost of working in the office, like traveling from and to work, food, etc. With work from home, these costs can be converted to pay for our other necessities at home.
Since working from home, we rediscovered ourselves and tried things that we didn’t have time to try before. These are only some of the benefits of working from home. I know that some of you are bored and are itching to go back to normal. But take the time to cherish these opportunities. You can never take back time. Instead of worrying and feeling gloomy at home, try to step back and look at the brighter side. Work from home has become a necessity at work, but we must not take this for granted as it can be taken away post-pandemic. Be thankful that your company cares for you and your family’s safety and well-being, that you still have work that brings food to the table.
After almost two years, what has changed, and what will continue to remain post-pandemic?
Work from home has become a necessity. Companies will use these experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic to improve their response in the future and improve their short and long-term strategies. I foresee applicants and employees requiring work-from-home opportunities when looking for their next jobs. But we must remember that this is a privilege that we need to take care of. Similar to other benefits, if not handled correctly, our employers may take this away. Remember that this is a give-and-take relationship. Our company is allowing us to work in the safety of our homes with our loved ones. We must do our best not only to deliver but to deliver to the best of our ability.
To those working from home, congratulations on having a company that values safety and well-being. For those already working in the office, continue to strive and show what you can do. Sooner or later, your company will also be able to offer the work from the home initiative. Continue to be positive during this time of the pandemic. Hopefully, through the immunity we gain from the vaccine, we can all walk away from this experience with a grateful heart and wisdom that we can share with the next generations.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at [email protected].
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.