As many companies embrace the “new normal,” employees have been adapting to the change of moving from being in the office to now over 100 million employees working remotely. While this has, and will continue to, place a lot of stress on leadership and human resources (from working out the details to managing and ensure productivity) the effects on employees must be taken into consideration. How are they adapting to this new change? Some may find relief being home, some may thrive off the new freedom so to speak, and some may need a little help staying on track. How can you ensure your employees are taking care of themselves while maintaining their normal work ethic?
Everyone can relate to life getting in the way – the dog needs to go outside, the kids need help with homework – the possibilities of getting pulled out of your work are endless. With many employees having a new, shorter commute downstairs, they may find it difficult to separate life and work. To combat this, consider giving your employees the flexibility of creating their own schedule or encouraging your employees to take breaks often. Even encouraging microbreaks, 30-60 seconds of standing or stretching, can help break up the day and prevent burnout.
The most important thing you can do during this time is communicate! We all take guesses or make assumptions at how someone is doing or feeling. By regularly checking in with your employees and listening to them, not only can you find out what is going on in their world, but you get a perspective of what may or may not be working for them in terms of working remote. This serves as the perfect opportunity to ask for suggestions to improve and adapt business processes and expectations going forward. Be transparent about the expectations of your employees so they can set their own goals to stay on track. Be mindful and empathetic as we all are processing the pandemic differently.
All workplaces and work cultures are different. What works for one company may not work for another. During these increasingly difficult times, it is important for employees to be involved in a work from home plan that best suits the company as a whole. Reflect on what works, what needs improvement, and continue to be transparent about changes as they are being made.