Andrew Scivally, CEO, >eLearning Brothers - helping organizations create and deliver employee learning that rocks.
Covid-19 has changed the way we think about work.
Kitchen counters became office spaces. School desks moved next to parents’ laptops. People earned a bit more compassion. The forced remote work environment condensed about five years of progress in digital learning, virtual collaboration and flexible scheduling into just five months of time.
We surveyed a group of HR professionals and e-learning professionals at our recent industry conference, and they shared with us that 54% of them have experienced increased happiness in their careers since making the switch to remote work.
In some ways, it’s not surprising that working from home has helped us all with our mental health. It has been fairly well-documented that the U.S. has one of the worst work-life balance ratings among developed countries.
In 2018, American employees left 768 million vacation days unused. In 2016, 44% of surveyed workers experienced enough workplace stress to interrupt their sleep cycles. One estimate puts the economic impact of pressure at work at about $30 billion each year due to absenteeism alone.MORE FOR YOU
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As we slowly return to the physical workplace, how can we avoid the same mistakes that we were making before? How can we help individuals feel more fulfilled in their jobs? Recognizing that life is different, realigning priorities and helping workers feel more in control of their career paths can help make the adjustment back to the office invigorating instead of miserable.
Covid-19 has been a world-altering event. Returning to the office and resuming business as usual is likely to be a jarring experience for workers and managers alike.
People have struggled through this time. Let’s recognize everything that has changed and help people process the shift. Celebrate the monumental efforts that have kept things moving in this unprecedented time. Highlight productivity, awards, revenue, innovations and all the small projects that contributed to the big projects that saw businesses surviving and even thriving.
Workers have felt the major adjustments in their own lives and in the way they work. They want to know what company leadership has done with the time in quarantine. Talking about safety protocols is important, but it has also become wearing.
Along with pandemic prevention policies, showcasing new training and advancement programs or upgraded policies and perks can be a great morale booster. Budgets may have to shift, but a strong investment in people as a valuable resource is as important as it ever was.
Whatever changes are happening, let’s demonstrate how they are moving everyone forward. And if they aren’t, let’s course-correct and find the positive resolutions that will propel us into a better way of working and living.
New Ways Of Working
For years, corporations have been reluctant to allow remote work en masse. Now, many have been forced to shut down physical offices, and CEOs are finding out that not only is it possible to shift full-time workers to an at-home environment, but in many cases, it is also desirable.
Global Workplace Analytics estimates that organizations can save an average of $11,000 per year on each employee who works from home just half of the time. A vast majority of both employees and CEOs reported that productivity while working remotely was as good as or better than it had previously been in person.
In the post-Covid-19 landscape, people want to reprioritize their lives. They want to keep the processes and structures that are working and giving them back time. This doesn’t necessarily mean a full shift to remote work. But we can do better.
New, more flexible ways of working — sometimes at home, sometimes in the office — should be on the table. Parents who want to eventually volunteer in reopened classrooms and make up tasks in the evenings should be given a fair chance. Commuters who can easily take the morning call from home and miss the traffic will want a good reason they shouldn’t do it.
What the new workplace will look like will undoubtedly vary with each organization. But shutting down conversations isn’t going to work anymore. Individuals have proved that they can handle less supervision and more time at home, and they have earned the right to have more input into their schedules.
Better Feedback And Adaptation
Promoting a healthy and happy workforce can be done in lots of ways. Employee recognition, fitness program memberships and providing personal development opportunities are all ways to help workers feel more fulfilled at the office.
Truly taking the well-being of workers a step further means listening to what they want. Technology has provided ways of communicating anonymously, individually and instantaneously. Using this technology to get quick feedback on how transitions are going and what programs or services would be beneficial and even to take a snapshot of the mental health of teams will be incredibly beneficial.
Leaders need to take on a more empathetic role as everyone struggles to navigate a return to work. Compassionate management has been shown to help organizations better recover from a crisis. As the Harvard Business Review suggests, finding meaningful action is an important part of healing together.
Businesses can — and should — find ways to create company cultures that will make a positive impact on the world. Team members need a renewed vision of why they leave their comfortable homes and families each day and come to the office. Circling around a cause will give everyone something to think about besides their commute.
In the midst of the pandemic shutdown and the subsequent migration back to the office building, managers have had an immense amount of responsibility and pressure put upon them. While championing the welfare of team members is crucial to the recovery of every company during this time, it’s important to remember that people in leadership positions are also healing from a collective crisis.
Making time to care for every member of the organization, from the newest intern to the CEO, matters.
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2020/11/02/adjusting-leadership-actions-to-keep-morale-high-during-the-return-to-in-office-work/
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