The New Normal

March 22, 2021

by LIOR ZOREF @lior

As we came to the end of the first year of COVID, and since most of the Israeli population has been vaccinated, life in Israel is starting to get back to normal. A new normal.

Getting back to old habits happens very fast. In the last few weeks, I went to a restaurant, a stand-up comedy show, an excellent boutique hotel, I returned to teaching on campus, got out of zoom, and finally started delivering keynotes in person again.

It’s a weird feeling. A bit like post-trauma and repression of the crazy period that has not yet ended.

What will the new normal look like? Here are some recent experiences and insights.

A few months ago I asked a group of about 200 senior executives in large international organizations (via Zoom) how many employees in their organizations they estimated would return to working from the office in 5 years?

Their average estimate was 50%. This of course depends on the type of organization and the different roles. This is a significant change in the world of work. With all the disadvantages of working from home, there are also many advantages.

Last week I went back to teaching on campus. I teach MBA graduate students. They were encouraged to learn on campus, but it is not mandatory. The course is also broadcast on Zoom.

Out of 70 students, 10 came to class and 60 preferred to stay home.

In a recent Zoom lecture I gave to employees at one of the most successful high-tech companies in Israel, I asked the employees what they think the new work routine should look like? Most of them are developers and the current plan is having them for 2-3 days at the office and 2-3 at home. In response to my question most of them said: “Please let us continue to work from home!”

So what will the split between home and office work be?

It seems that in the short term, many will prefer to carefully choose when and where to get out and maybe we will see that more often people prefer to learn and work from home as much as possible. Going out to do something fun? Yes please. Going out for a meeting that can also be held on Zoom? No thanks.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter.

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