Like so many other aspects of our lives, the workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic is going to look a lot different than what we’ve come to know and understand. Knowing how COVID-19 has changed the workplace is going to be key when moving into 2021. Adjusting and adapting to the unavoidable changes will be imperative to ensure success in your businesses’ workplace.
This new normal we’ve achieved, both in our personal and professional lives has had its ups and downs. New trends in workplace productivity due to telecommuting have opened many employers’ eyes to the benefits of allowing employees to accomplish their work based on productivity, and not hours at their desk. Let’s take a look at some of the ways the workplace is changing post covid, and how your company can adapt to embrace those changes for maximum efficiency.
How COVID-19 has Changed the Workplace – Adapting to Challenges
Aside from the rise in mental health issues related to COVID-19, there are physical changes to the workplace environment that greatly impact how our businesses operate. Below are some key ways in which our work place environment has had to change, or has opened up the opportunity for workflow processes and communication.
Telecommuting is becoming more widely embraced
Pros – It’s not just a myth. Remote working has been proven to be a more effective and productive way for employees to stay on task and focused throughout their workday. By allowing employees to work from home either part time, or full time, you’re not only laying a foundation for trust, but you’re also cutting down on commute time, and you’re enabling them to be most productive while being flexible to their personal schedules. It’s been observed that some models that include productivity-based goals, as opposed to hours on the clock, have been shown to increase productivity and help maintain a work-life balance.
Cons – Access to the appropriate tools and equipment can make telecommuting difficult. High Speed internet access, access to printers or conference lines, computers and other technology accessibility, and even supplies like paper and pens may be difficult to obtain at home. Not to mention, if your employee doesn’t have a designated, quiet workspace at their home, it can make staying focused difficult.
Team building and employee trust
Pros – Enabling and empowering your employees to manage themselves can be an overwhelming tool in terms of building confidence and trust. Allowing them the opportunity to manage their time, and giving them access to benefits and resources that enable them to make important decisions about their future can build a foundation of staff that is thriving. Keeping the conversation open and transparent, including your staff in these big operational decisions, and truly hearing their feedback can inspire a workplace culture that will help your business thrive.
Cons – With social distancing in effect in your physical workplace, telecommuting, and the overall sense of despair many of us are experiencing means team-building and social events are off-limits. Working from home removes the comradery altogether, so in order to maintain that sense of team and unity, employers will have to double down on their efforts to create inclusive remote events. Less physical interaction can also lead to less open conversation, which can inhibit your employee’s confidence in speaking to you about important issues.
Flexibility to Overcome Workplace Challenges Due to COVID-19 Will be More Important Than Ever
It’s going to be imperative moving forward, that as employers, conversation and open dialogue with your staff is readily accessible. In order to ensure they’re taken seriously and their feedback is heard, open forums and the opportunity for them to give anonymous feedback is also encouraged. Providing your team with resources to help with mental health challenges, utilising comprehensive and coordinated HR and employee support tools like you can get through hug, and checking in with your staff to adapt to their reasonable accommodations will, in the end, help drive your business forward and create a productive, efficient, and successful workplace.