Such is the impact it had across all levels of life. Apart from all the chaos that the pandemic had invited, there were some beautiful aspects that we could witness i.e. ‘changes’ owing to the imposition of lockdown. The world started healing as pollution levels drastically came down to the point that the hole in the ozone layer also was sealed.
The business landscape saw a new chapter which was the breaking of the shell of ‘conventional work pattern’ as a fight or flight response to the unprecedented challenge. Work From Home became the new normal as a consequence. Agree or not, COVID-19 turned out to be the strongest motivation for many companies to pursue digital transformation.
So, how are employees feeling about the new work model? It is a thumbs up for Work from home by 70% of employees. It has cut down their travel expenses and travel time while work deliverables are still unhampered. On the employer side of affairs, cost reduction is a major advantage.
This is what compelled organizations to foresee their future as characterized by remote work. Coming back to the present, post lockdown as the government eases restrictions, companies are gearing up to open offices for business as usual.
Now comes the challenge. Around 90% of employees are not ready to come back to work owing to various fears. They want their work setting to be COVID-free to return without any reservations. Although 71% of the companies are saying that employee safety and well-being are their top priorities, their approach towards boosting employee confidence right now is what matters for their long-term growth.
As an organization, before you go ahead with business as usual, it is advisable to reconsider your business resumption. Since there is no substantial progress on formulating a vaccine for COVID-19, the threat of succumbing to the condition still lurks around making caution indispensable. Unless you are sure that you can take precautions rigorously, allow your employees to Work From Home.
When you are planning to resume operations, you might want to comprehend how to work Post COVID would seem. This blog would help you understand where you stand and help you with takeaways you can use for making decisions.
GETTING THE FUNDAMENTALS RIGHT
Starting from commute to office space, hygiene cannot be compromised. Help your employees to start and end their workday in a safe environment. With adequate sanitization and protective measures in place, you need to ensure that they reach and leave the workplace well shielded from the pandemic.
- Firstly, reform policies and introduce staggered shifts. Also, consider allowing employees to Work From Home if they insist or depending on their containment zones. Have a limited presence of employees in the organization to prevent over herding as insisted by the Government.
- Sanitize the workplace setting such as the elevators, grab rails along with the steps, and everything that is in the vicinity of a person’s presence. Keep an eye on the Government’s notifications and new norms.
- Early detection would help curb the spread of the pandemic in its preliminary stages. Deploy heat maps and temperature checks right at the entrance to spot the symptoms. Dedicate a cabin or a room to transfer anyone suspected of having contracted the infection. Some companies have a paramedic on board to act on emergencies and address employee’s concerns.
- Ditch the biometric system and employ a hands-free attendance tech. Companies are resorting to HR technology to automate core processes which also include various attendance tracking solutions, making it a workable option for balancing costs.
- Re-think and re-design the office ergonomics Post Lockdown. Get creative with the seating arrangement to support the recommended distance between individuals. Re-call the panels around the employee’s workstation and encourage employees to interact among themselves from a safe distance. Sanitizers and PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) are to make available and accessible at the workplace round the clock.
It’s a good idea to develop a playbook that contains guidelines and safety measures that you are undertaking in the organization to make it infection-free. It will help in prepping your employees before and once they reach the workplace.
TECH ENABLED OPERATIONS ARE HERE TO STAY
Remote-work has enabled the rapid adoption of digital tools and solutions by organizations which made communication and collaboration among the teams feasible. Not only the technology has bettered workforce co-ordination but also gratified customer needs and optimized service costs for the businesses.
With the proven benefits in place, companies will continue to broaden their horizons for new tech at the workplace post-COVID to actively foster social distancing and productivity. Further, this transformation ensures the workforce is ready to meet operational demands irrespective of whether they work from home or office.
CONSTRUCTING A TRANSPARENT CULTURE
With employees being hyperaware of circumstances and having easy access to information through different platforms, they want transparency from the organization to feel confident about you as an employer. Do not block communication or information flow and ensure you divulge only the necessary selective information through an apt channel.
Breed a culture of transparency by letting your employees know about every dynamic in the organization. This would build their trust and confidence in you for them. Further, it would yield distraction-free productivity by eliminating the intrusive thoughts and insecurities tingling your employees’ minds.
Layoffs come hard on employees and employers as well. When the organization needs to be downsized or rightsized, try to ensure that employees receive transparent communication on all the decisions that were considered. It is critical to have an open discussion on the decision and make employees understand so as to palliate the feeling of guilt.
Offer support for their career transition by giving recommendations, references, and matchmaking to recruiters. The communities across different social platforms have come together in helping laid-off employees to find new opportunities by mapping them to skill-appropriate positions in the market. Doing this would not cost much but bring you a whole lot of loyalty and positive karma in return.
Considering the volatile circumstances prevailing now, businesses should accept reality and be open to espouse unconventional trends and approaches to move forward. Hence eco-system awareness is crucial to gain cognizance of the best practices from the respective industries.