COVID-19 has brought about an abrupt change in the workplace dynamic. While change and progress in the workplace is often good, when it is in response to a dire situation and is rushed through, it can often lead to hardships for employees and business owners alike. These quick changes lead to confusion and disorganization, which leads to lower quality results and frustration.
One of the biggest changes for employees has been the concept of working from home. While this is by no means a new thing, it was usually reserved for select jobs rather than the entire business. What this sudden enforcement of working from home has caused is not only a sense of chaos in workflow management, but also an increase in worker burnout and a decrease in morale. For many people, the office is not just a place of work; many co-workers are friends and they enjoy each other’s company. Now these people are forced to be at home. This can lead to feelings of isolation, which may reduce productivity.
People and businesses have a lot to get used to during this global pandemic. It’s a new way of life for now, and working remotely is going to become much more common moving forward. Leading scientific experts have warned that this pandemic in the United States is going to get worse before it gets better, and so businesses are preparing to continue with remote work for the foreseeable future. And it’s possible, given the investment in a new workforce model, that many companies will decide to keep the remote work continuing even after the pandemic has subsided. With that in mind, there are some things that businesses can do to help their workforce adapt to the systemic change and feel more positive about it.
1. Maintain steady contact with and between employees
Make sure that you are not only staying in constant contact with your employees but encouraging them to reach out to each other, and make sure they’re collaborating on projects. This will keep up the feeling of being part of a team and help prevent burnout from isolation.
2. Ensure proper employee resources are ready
Ensure that any resources your employees need are readily available, even via an online directory or cloud storage folder. This will help to make sure that if there is a file or piece of information that employees need, they will be able to find it without having to call or email around to get it.
3. Check in on your team
Set up weekly video calls to not only discuss business and projects, but also to see how everyone is doing. Ensure that your employees have the support they need to get through these times. This is a great way to help build a deeper bond with employees and come together as a team.
4. Virtual coffee breaks
While you may not be able to gather around the office coffee machine, you can set up a virtual coffee break via video conference. By giving employees the opportunity to be social and talk with their co-workers about more than just work, you will help build morale.
5. Ask for feedback
Ask your employees how they’re doing, and how you can help out more. Check in with them to see what they need, and then use that information to deliver a better workplace solution for them. This empathy and attention to detail will help to keep them feeling good about their work and let them know that you acknowledge how hard these times are, and that you are all in it together.
Even though offices may be closed during this pandemic, workplaces and employees still need to be active and productive. Businesses that fail to adapt to effective remote working policies will not be able to stay afloat – this is the new workforce dynamic, whether we like it or not.
For businesses that aren’t quite sure how to properly navigate the “new normal”, and wonder how to make sure their employees are thriving with working from home, workforce management companies can help. Agencies like ClearPath can help businesses manage contingent workers and develop strategies to help businesses through tough times. If you find yourself with questions about how your company can do better at adapting to the changing work environment, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach ClearPath through the contact page on their website here.