With the global spread of the COVID-19 virus, an extremely large number of businesses have been severely affected. Countless people have been laid off in various sectors as companies shut down operations indefinitely. The coronavirus has also forced a majority of the U.S population to work from home. Although this move will allow people to sustain themselves and not be jobless, the new system in place coupled with complete isolation is certainly going to affect employees’ psychological and physical states.
In times of such a crisis, what is the responsibility of companies when it comes to promoting their employees’ well-being? Research shows that following certain practices and encouraging the adoption of certain habits can boost employee happiness as well as productivity while the work environment shifts from that of a traditional office to one’s home. Let’s have a look:
Establishing an emergency operational structure:
Your business should always be ready for an emergency situation. In the current coronavirus crisis, the business should be guided by collaborative efforts from all departments which means effective communication channels and workflows need to be implemented. Any company’s leadership determines what kind of route the company will take and effective leadership which takes care of every department responds quickly and makes decisions effectively will keep your business afloat during a crisis.
Granting flexible work arrangements:
A good step towards sustainable business operations and productivity is to allow employees to have flexible work arrangements in place. Granting flexibility is not just about granting the freedom to work. Managers need to understand the demographics of their workforce and facilitate honest and open conversations with their employees depending on their responsibilities and situations.
Encouraging a virtual social space:
Human beings are social animals. Social isolation can prove to be quite crippling. Without the presence of coffee-breaks and lunches in real-time with employees, a positive state of mind is hard to maintain. Employees should be encouraged to find time for social and supportive interactions with each other. While this cannot be predesigned, it is always helpful if the company promotes a culture where regular fun interventions through group games and activities can take place.
Implementing online collaboration:
Online collaboration over projects with the help of project management tools can significantly improve workflow. While the absence of real-time interaction between teams can prove to delay day-to-day operations, having a virtual collaborative approach can help alleviate this problem. Companies can turn to web-based sessions for remote work and build awareness around the use of such technology amongst employees.
With these key changes in operations, businesses and companies can support their employees while making sure the workflow is not disrupted. As businesses prepare themselves for the future, they must always be ready to take on challenges and emergency situations without letting the morale of their employees drop.