No one really expected the current COVID-19 would develop into the grave pandemic. Most countries around the world have imposed lockdown orders, preventing the majority of their workforce from making it into work each day.
Companies have adapted by implementing a number of measures to keep their workers engaged and stop their businesses from grinding to a halt. Just how long these measures will need to be maintained is anyone’s guess, but what is clear is that companies are more than capable of rising to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
There are a number of key areas that have been affected by the pandemic, causing companies to alter the way they engage and interact with their workers. The majority of companies have adapted well to the crisis, implementing effective changes that may continue even after the pandemic disappears.
As most professionals are physically and legally incapable of even making it into the office due to lockdown orders and suspended public transportation, companies have had to completely revamp their day-to-day operations. The majority of companies have switched to an online, working-from-home model which enables productivity to survive.
Thankfully, in the internet age this is a relatively straightforward accomplishment. Employees can easily communicate with one another and receive emails, phone calls and gain access to online workspaces to continue their roles. Many companies, before the pandemic crisis, were shifting to online, collaborative workspaces to streamline productivity, so they were fortunately prepared for the home-based working environment that followed.
Focus On Wellbeing
While employee wellbeing is always an important factor for any company to keep in mind, the impact of the current coronavirus crisis has brought it to the forefront of concerns. The anxiety and uncertainty of these times is placing a lot of stress on individuals, who may have family members and friends affected by the virus, not to mention the economic consequences of the pandemic.
Companies are now extremely mindful of the emotional state of their employees, something that will hopefully continue past the current pandemic. It is more acceptable for workers to take time off to tend to their lives and loved ones, and the personal impact the crisis has had on them is taken into account by companies.
The lack of social interaction, the mere ability to converse and share ideas through speech, can severely impact productivity and worker wellbeing. Working out problems and brainstorming is far quicker with the use of speech compared to written communication, so companies have set-up online telecommunication platforms to facilitate verbal engagement between workers.
Along with restoring the sociability of the office environment, online voice and video conferencing are an excellent way to keep workers on the same page. Social distancing threatens to create a chasm in ideas, leading to less coherence and unity of action.
Modern telecommunication platforms allow for mass video conferencing and the constant sharing of viewpoints and perspectives. Other online innovations, such as eSignatures, have allowed individuals to conduct transactions without needing to be physically present.
More Accommodating to Worker Needs
The current pandemic hasn’t only impacted the mental wellbeing of workers; but it may have a tremendous impact on other essential parts of their life including financial, physical and familial. Many workers with children now find themselves expected to work and provide childcare , an almost impossible task to do simultaneously.
Companies have had to be far more flexible in their allowances for workers due to their individual needs. Some workers will need to work odd hours so they can share childcare duties with their spouse, while others may have health problems that require special consideration. Not all companies before the pandemic would have been so accommodating, but the current crisis appears to be bringing out the best of businesses in this respect.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly testing time for businesses and workers alike. Basic routines of life, like social contact, office work and travel now seem like distant luxuries. Hence, several people are struggling with the impact this pandemic has had on their personal and family lives. Important processes of businesses like meetings, discussions and sharing ideas have been severely impacted by the crisis.
On the whole, businesses have done very well to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic. Much of the daily operations of companies has migrated online, enabling employees to continue their work over the web without needing to turn up to the office.
It also had the positive side-effects of increasing the importance of worker wellbeing. While this concept was already pushing itself to the forefront, the current crisis has really driven home the vital need for individual wellbeing if businesses, and society itself, is going to function healthily.