As the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic is worsening, those companies that can are opting for a “work from home” policy. While work from home does come with some perks, the lack of a 9-to-5 schedule can cause major issues. Distraction seems to be everywhere and the lack of social contact with colleagues can make people restless. Although your employees are officially working at home, it does not mean that their families are living on some other planet. Their obligations towards family are still intact. Moreover, employees might be in a mindset where they feel they have to produce more and that can overwhelm them.
So, in a situation like this, the million-dollar question is:
What is the role of good Management?
Firstly, we need to understand and accept that employees are at home due to the crisis that has handicapped all of us. It is not their personal choice and it is far from the ideal work environment.
Secondly, their performance must be looked at from this perspective and not measured in the same ways as when things were normal. In this way, we protect the long-term physical, mental, and emotional well-being of our most valuable assets, i.e. our employees, which is far more important during these times than the short-term outputs we might be expecting.
Thirdly, we need to acknowledge the fact that every human being is unique. Some can handle physical stress but are prone to mental anxiety, while some are mentally strong but succumb to physical distractions. Likewise, some can handle the distractions that come with working at home, while others might find them very difficult to cope with. Acknowledging this simple fact can have massive results on how you perceive your employees. “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”.
For some companies, remote work might be a little hard as some work requires special equipment that only the company can provide. Therefore, we need to evaluate the possibilities.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution here. But one thing is for sure: emergency situations demand special considerations and that is where the role of Management comes in.
Consider setting new KPIs that are unique with respect to each role. In this way you will be on track to achieve your goals for the company while maintaining the trust of your employees. Once the crisis is over, your employees will be grateful for your considered approach to a difficult situation.
It’s easy to imagine that this scenario of crisis, remote working, and distraction will disrupt your company’s productivity, but with an open mind and a flexible approach, you can identify opportunities that can positively boost the morale of your employees, resulting in a long-term increase in trust, respect and productivity, whilst successfully navigating this difficult period and all of its challenges.
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