Life has been nothing short of a dramatic turn of events from 2019 – 2021 (though we technically still are in the pandemic). Especially for the major portion of the population that commutes to work – be it a desk job, an on-field job or any other job that required assistance over the phone or in person. As humans are categorically social beings which means we are in constant need of communicating through words, touch or emotions – the entire phase of the lockdown was tumultuous and challenging to say the least.
With the changing times in the last 3 years, we have seen a significant transition in the way work places have shaped. The boon of highspeed internet and advancement in video-calling platforms we have come far. Be it educational institutes, hospitals, restaurants; the need to adapt and survive the crisis was a priority to many.
Companies and business houses at large had to get accustomed to their employees working from home, which is the new trend for most of the existing companies and start-ups together. The WFH aka Work From Home culture has allowed the employers to think out of the box and at the same time provided with the opportunity to the employees to understand and adapt to Flexi Time (an arrangement between the employer and employee to choose the start and end time for their working day) working hours. With several people working remotely during this period has also opened doors to prioritizing actual work and responsibilities in their personal life and allowing them to be available to their family’s disposal.
Being said that, once the lockdown rules were relaxed and life started moving forward, several concerns raised:
- Is it necessary to go back to the office?
- Isn’t work from home a new lifestyle that most of us adapted to?
- What about the mental health of those employees who have lost their loved ones to covid 19?
- What about choosing the right technology for effective communication?
- Isn’t it time to address the slack of outdated work policies with optimum alternative policies?
And most importantly,
- How can we ensure the help that employees might need to an overall transition from WFH?
Several organizations have undergone a drastic change which ranges from the overall business models to a shift in the consumer’s behavior. Understanding the gravity of the situation and the market’s demands, the companies have had to conclude and make decisions on the following grounds:
A. Providing options for a variety of workplace paradigms.
- Hybrid working arrangement allows the employees to work based on the priority of the task assigned to them, be it at the office or from the comfort of their homes.
- Compressed or shorter work week allows people to be more productive and effective with their contributions to their workplace.
- Job sharing or part time work and Snowbird Programs are a new norm in several parts of the world to be more accommodating.
B. Prioritizing Mental Health of the employees.
- This is the right time to organize social events to engage employees in conversations and listen to their perspective about the work in general and take notes on their feedbacks. This is also a great platform to identify talent and give them the opportunities to excel at work.
- Check on the employees more routinely than usual. Exhibit a culture of kindness and active listening so that the employee feels safe and would want to flock back and contribute to their teams in general.
- Setting work boundaries is also one of the most important factors when it comes to addressing the mental health of the employees. Burnout is real so and it can only be controlled by understanding the capacity of individuals and their skills. Assign and reassign tasks as per capabilities and situations.
- Be fair in deciding who works remotely depending upon the situation and analyze with the right information and data. This will work effectively when the leaders take responsibility to be fair to all. Trust and loyalty are built through example.
C. Choosing the right technology in the workplace.
- The support technology provides to working remotely is only possible if the companies customize their requirements into a workable technology for the employees to stay connected and work around with.
- Technology also supports security of data which in return boosts productivity and reduces the consumption of time.
Leaders must take initiatives to make the work environment much more relevant and engaging to accelerate business and as well as employee’s willingness to work for you. We have seen businesses function even more effectively with the unforeseen challenges it had to face in the period of the pandemic.
Different management styles and practices have emerged from different work cultures.Tapping into new management trends is of utmost importance for management to ensure consistent progress of the organization. The programs, such as HND in International Business, HND in Human Resources; as well as continued professional development courses like Certified Manager and Certified Team Leader, offered by DeMont Institute of Management and Technology, equip professionals with new-age management practices.