Key Considerations for Your Post-Pandemic Transition 'Back to Work'
Just months ago, working from home was a foreign concept to most. Now, it’s the norm. As time goes on, and as at-home working becomes more routine, employees are connecting with one another in new ways.
For Many, The Remote Work Lifestyle Will Stay
While the world is transforming to accommodate digital workspaces, we are each individually adapting to learn what at-home work means to us, our schedules and our families.
Research shows that the remote work trend is productive, often even more productive than traditional models of working. While this can mean balancing kids, a spouse, the pandemic and other outside factors, many at-home workers are handling the transition rather well. Business News Daily reports that remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than their office-based counterparts, resulting in more than three additional weeks of work per year—a statistic cited pre-pandemic, but still relevant to our current work environment. Remote employees also report improved mental health, physical needs and overall job satisfaction. It's no surprise that Twitter's revolutionary CEO, Jack Dorsey, announced that employees will now have the option to work from home forever.
Collaboration tools such as Slack, Yammer, Microsoft Teams and Workplace from Facebook enhance company culture from a safe distance and allow employees to experience the normalcy that comes with peer-to-peer communication.
Reboarding post-pandemic may not look the way we originally envisioned, as more companies are rethinking their back-to-work arrangements. Some enjoy working from home, while others prefer to work in-office. To avoid burnout, protect morale and maintain productivity levels during the transition from home back to work, make an effort to listen to employees, ask for feedback, encourage teamwork and recognize accomplishments. Everyone appreciates a pat on the back here and there, so talk with your team about how you can best serve one another.
Planning your Post-Pandemic Transition Back to Work
As we shift back to 'normal', things will continue to change. Support your employees, while protecting productivity levels, with these helpful tips.
Ensure employee safety with social distancing and a phased return to work
As employees begin to fill office spaces, it will look and feel different than before. According to EHSToday, monitoring temperatures at the door, mandatory PPE and strict cleaning measures will become the new norm with social distancing serving as a critical tool in combatting Covid-19.
As a champion of the digital workplace, remind your employees that collaboration tools are still useful as some settle back into the day-to-day office life, while others remain in a remote routine. It is still critical to keep teams in the loop and engaged with one another, even as mandatory remote work scales down.
Convert remote work capabilities into permanent features of the workplace
In an effort to stay operational during the crisis, many organizations around the globe rolled out or scaled their implementation of tools like Slack Enterprise Grid, Workplace from Facebook, Yammer or Microsoft Teams. While reboarding employees in a more remote-friendly world, IT leaders should invest in risk and compliance features that may have been overlooked when work-from-home features were rapidly set up during the onset of quarantine.
At the minimum, your digital workplace strategy should include a searchable archive, retention capabilities, compliance adherence and the ability to hold data of interest. These capabilities protect both your organization’s level of productivity standards and manage potential risk exposure.
Give managers the tools to manage remote teams for the long run
Remote work is still work. We are still leading teams, collaborating on projects and getting the job done. Give leaders the tools they need to manage their teams no matter where they are physically located.
Qualitative analytics tools, like Aware Spotlight, provide leaders insights into how employees are collaborating, sharing ideas and connecting with one another. Spotlight delivers conversation health and sentiment metrics on both group and company levels. Surfacing pockets of toxicity or negativity gives managers an opportunity to intervene early with proactive coaching, process adjustments or increased communication. On the other hand, public and private areas of collaboration with higher sentiment and health scores indicate engaged employees with functional cultural and working processes.