Business is not running as usual. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management found “71% of employers are struggling to adjust to remote work, 65% say maintaining employee morale has been a challenge and others say they have challenges with the company culture.” While these challenges are real, it’s also an opportunity for organizations to reshape their workplace post COVID-19.
Some states have allowed some businesses to open but they must follow strict guidelines. Going forward, remote work will still be an option for many companies. If you are a company who decides to bring some of your workers back to a central workplace, the placement of desks will likely be farther apart than before. Your company might have to redesign the workplace using the Cushman and Wakefield’s model for a 6 feet office. In the near future, offices might need to have a designated temperature check location and anyone visiting a large company high rise may have to have a body temperature reading.
It’s no longer going to be enough for organizations to show they are recession proof, now you’ll need to prove you are pandemic proof.
Depending on your situation, you may require employees to adhere to stricter workwear. Such as those who work in a plant, food or other manufacturing environment. Employees are going to need more support going forward. I’ve listed several ideas on how you can support your employees now and/if they come back into the office.
•Empower your Managers to Lead – give them the tools to do their job and let them work with their teams to get the work done.
•Implement Daily check in calls – if you haven’t already now’s a good time to start. Don’t just check in about work, ask how they are doing. Take 15 minutes a day per employee, to touch base and ask them to share their high points and low points of the day. This gives both parties an opportunity to open up and work through their problems together.
•Maintain consistent communication – Be transparent in your communications with the organization. This is not your typical business as usual situation so communicate often since things can change at a moment’s notice.
•Focus on Learning and Development – Now is not the time to cut back on employee learning. This could be the perfect time for your employees or teams to learn new skills that will benefit the organization as we come out of the pandemic.
•Be intentional about Wellness – There has never been a better time to support your employees by providing Tele-Medicine options or a meditation app such as Headspace or Calm. One company even hired a “Happier Coach” who provides three, 15 min virtual sessions daily for employees to log on and participate in group sessions of stretching, breathing and ending with a moment of gratitude.
•Give your employees ongoing flexibility – Right now your home bound employees also have spouses working from home and children homeschooling due to all the office and school closures. In the future, realize life happens and your employees have lives outside the workplace. Do your best to help them have some flexibility to fit in their life with work.
It’s definitely a different world than it was two months ago. Going forward it’s clear the workplace and work will be different as well. We are all in this together and learning as we go. Don’t be afraid to tell employees you don’t have all the answers but together we can all help each other find the answers.
We are here for you. Give us a call or drop us an email, even if you just want to bounce some ideas off of us