Residual effects of the international health crisis have yet to be fully comprehended. Business leaders are already reflecting on the operational changes that were made during lockdowns, those to accommodate working restrictions and ensure employee safety, reviewing which practices have proven to be an effective new direction for management.
One significant shift was to remote, or teleworking, staff. The idea of working from home, prior to the pandemic, had been met with repeated and conservative doubt, with many business owners fearing that when working within the comforts of their own home, employee productivity would decrease and be, ultimately, unsustainable. As the decision was forced onto businesses, whose only alternative was to cease operations amind COVID lockdowns, employees demonstrated that, overall, productivity actually increases.
Such improvements, however, are not without their caveats. In fact, while remote working has the potential to improve productivity, it requires an altogether new approach to business management for it to become a viable ongoing situation for employees.
Without the proximity of a shared working space, communication rises in importance. Not only does this mean employees should be regular participants within emails and video conferences, so as to keep them updated and working in tandem with their colleagues, but they should be spoken to on a more personal level and with consideration too.
Working from home can quickly lead to feelings of isolation, the effects of which can create a sense of distance from the team and even mental ill-health. To both deter feelings of alienation and to sustain employee wellbeing, correspondence should also involve general and regular checks, even a simple How are you today?
In addition to management having to rethink their operations, staff may also need to take on new tasks or contribute to different departments. Offering training to staff has numerous benefits and overtime works also to prevent potentially costly mistakes. Corporate training courses are an excellent option for employees and managers who would like to improve both their professional qualifications and their contributions to a business.
Courses can vary in topic, as well as be tailored to specific levels and sectors. This can offer great advantages to those looking to take on the new challenges faced in a post-COVID working environment.
The New Normal has led to dividing opinions. The working situations that suit some businesses and employees might not be appropriate for others. Some have thrived by ditching the office, while others have struggled or sought to find a balance between the extremes.
As a manager, it can be worthwhile to give staff more independence, enabling them to work how they feel is best. Some leaders find a tight, loose, tight method of management works well, setting clearly defined tasks and deadlines but allowing employees the freedom to manage their own work as they see fit. Such a method requires a greater amount of trust within teams but as a tailored approached it is already proving to be beneficial.
Furthermore, employee personalities also change their suitability within a remote working environment. Those who are diligent and independent may excel in an office space but without the oversight of a manager to ensure they take a break; their gumption can lead them to overwork and burnout.