In what can only be characterized as a hidden benefit, COVID-19 revealed an opportunity for companies to reduce costs considerably.
Demonstrating how much of contemporary business could be conducted from employee’s homes, the pandemic showed employers that the need to maintain a traditional office is not as acute as it was previously thought to be.
And that’s just one paradigm shift the virus has brought about. With that in mind, here are some workable tips to help manage your firm post COVID-19.
This new “normal” has changed the way offices will run going forward. There is very little possibility of going back to the way things were before. Workers who have become accustomed to working at home and realized that their productivity is just as high — if not higher — than it was before, really don’t want to go back into an office setting.
At the same time, though, one cannot overstate the value of face-to-face meetings from time to time. This has led many firms to adopt a sort of hybrid remote/in-person model in which employees work from home much of the time, but come into the office at regularly scheduled intervals.
This helps maintain cohesion, while affording workers a degree of autonomy as well. This flexible approach respects the wishes of your workers, even as it fosters social interaction.
Be Mindful of The Company’s Needs Too
Some tasks can be accomplished independently; others need the interaction of a team to come to fruition. Therefore, it’s important to design working arrangements based upon what it takes to get the job done, rather than an individual desire to function in a particular fashion.
And, while this might sound as if it is in direct conflict with the flexibility we touted above, the reality is some jobs simply cannot be done from home. So, while it’s important to allow people the flexibility of working remotely when you can, a measure of structure should be applied to ensure people who need to be together are all in the workplace at the same time when the situation calls for them to do so.
To accomplish this, it’s important to be candid with your workers about what needs to be done for the good of the company — and how accomplishing it should proceed. Embracing digital technology such as a Workday implementation can help you break down silos between departments to improve agility and cross-functional collaboration to advance your workforce transformation and make things run more smoothly in this new environment.
Adopt a Safety-First Attitude
One of the most insidious aspects of the virus is the fact that a worker could be carrying it — and spreading it — while experiencing no symptoms at all.
This understandably has people concerned about working near one another.
Demonstrating that employee health and wellbeing is your highest priority will help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety people may have about returning to the workplace. While certain physical safeguards are now mandated going beyond the requirements to ensure that your workplace does not contribute to the transmission of the virus will go a long way toward encouraging your people to feel it’s safe to return.
Along with that must also be concern regarding the home life of the people in your employ. Some may have family members suffering from virus-related illnesses for whom they must care. You need to afford them the elasticity to be there for them without encountering negative ramifications at work.
Many people will emerge from the pandemic having lost people to whom they were close. Others will be experiencing stress from worrying over ancillary problems the pandemic imposed, such as the loss of employment by a spouse and the accompanying financial challenges. Some may have children who are still attending classes remotely, rather than physically going to school.
You’ll have to find ways to accommodate these people. Listening becomes extremely important and acting upon what you hear is even more so. Look in on those under your charge, orient them toward helpful resources where possible and let them know you see and appreciate their efforts. Provide acknowledgment and demonstrate gratitude. And make it a point to do the same for you. It’s easier to lead when you’ve done what’s needed to alleviate your own stress.
These workable tips for managing your firm post COVID-19 will help you protect the health of your team, keep them productive and inspire their loyalty.