Covid-19 and the new normal of organizations and employees: An overview

Aarthi Raghavan, Mehmet Akif Demircioglu, Serik Orazgaliyev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has hit organizations and employees in every sector worldwide in unprecedented ways. It became extremely difficult for organizations and employees across sectors to operate under increased mobility restrictions. The pandemic effectively disrupted previous operational models and imbued changes such as telework and digital adoption that are pervasive and may potentially last beyond the pandemic. Amid these circumstances, it was essential to ask how organizations and employees will sustain themselves in the post-COVID-19 ”new normal”. Although so much research is conducted about COVID-19, there is no comprehensive view of the changes at the meso (organizational) and micro (individual) levels. This article aims to explain this using the emergency-learning-institutionalization-new normal (ELIN) framework, which is based on the timeline of the pandemic. The article aims to bring forth the overall trends in how organizations and employees are adapting to the pandemic, the lessons they have learned, and how they will change and adapt in a post-COVID-19 “new normal”. We have analyzed existing policy papers, articles published in business, public administration, nonprofit journals, and other studies to achieve this. We find an increasing trend towards the adoption of telework and digital tools at both meso-and micro-levels. The effective implementation of telework policies and digital transformation plans at the meso-level will ensure the sustainability of organizations and jobs in the new normal. Although these trends vary across sectors and within and across countries, there is an overall increase in the flexibility of organizations and employees in adopting new solutions, making them more open to innovation. The article makes important recommendations for organizations to make these transitions more sustainable in the medium and long term.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11942
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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