It has become the new normal living under the regulations of a pandemic. With the number of cases of the virus slowly subsiding and vaccinations rising the idea of returning back to the old office habits is looking more possible.
But the question is will staff and employees want to go back to the office when it’s safe again? And should companies forget about the applications like Zoom and Teams that made it possible to keep meetings going despite not being at the office?
The answer is No.
This is atleast the case for all companies who have seen the benefits of flexibility for their staff.
The reality is that the workplace as we know it has evolved. Working remotely has not only got employees to think independently but also challenged the conventional thinking about their work.
The question that we now have to ask is how can employers create a work world that is both happy and productive post Covid-19?
Managers and supervisors should start by accommodating these changes in the post Covid-19 era. This means being comfortable with staff not being micromanaged. It is also about trust and accountability. Building working relationships with staff that are working from home more regularly will allow us to have a much better working environment.
Now that staff are aware of the working from home opportunities and it’s benefits, the opportunity should also be available in the event that staff need the time to use this option. This should not only be the case if world has an outbreak but rather this should be the option if someone needs to get their vehicle serviced and won’t be able to get to work or any other reason for that matter.
Instead of having a 9 till 5 strict regimens why not use the office time as face time with staff. Use the time when staff come in to have catch up meetings and touch base sessions. If the 3 days work from home and 2 days at the office works for your staff then keep it going.
The good thing about having staff working from home more is that it promotes more transparency. People might be prone to work better without someone watching over them like a hawk. We know the age old saying that people leave because of managers and the less time people have to spend around someone that makes their work life frustrating the better.
This can also promote more and more staff opening up to management. Managers can have their office doors open in the sense that staff can now virtually chat to managers about their concerns without feeling the pressure of being ostracized at work.
But the fact is that only a meeting with staff can plot the way forward. If you engage with staff on the benefits of work from home verse the office you would be able to better map out a plan of action to get your staff members more productive.
You can’t implement the strategy of a survey. You need something that gives you the truth. A discussion about the highs and lows of working from home. This can only be done by having a dialogue with staff around the way forward for the business.
We must take into consideration the safety measures taken in place as well. Talk about keeping the sanitizing stations in place, is the social distancing at the office still necessary? Employees work better when they are comfortable and happy. In the bid to do that a conversation with them will allow for smooth business flow.
Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African TVET College. He is the author of Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us, AND My Leadership Legacy Journal available from the ICHAF Training Institute.
The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.
Tel: 011 262 2461 | 083 303 9159 |