By Vikas Bhonsle, CEO, Crayon Software Experts India
Remote working has been the biggest paradigm shift in our lives after the pandemic’s advent. Organizations are still navigating this new change, and many of them are opting for a hybrid-work model, while others are still working remotely. According to a Gartner study of June 2020, 47% of the respondents said they intend to allow employees to work remotely full time going forward, while 43% of survey respondents reported they would grant employees a hybrid model, and the rest will provide flexible hours.
At this juncture, organizations must strive for high adaptability and flexibility, in order to stay agile and relevant in business. The major concern here is managing a well-adjusted and motivated hybrid workforce and assuring team productivity.
Connectivity is the key
The pandemic’s overnight impact revealed that those organizations that were already technically prepared to manage a remote team fared far better than the rest in navigating the cataclysmic changes of the pandemic. To establish seamless coordination between different teams, organizations must provide appropriate technical support and smooth-running backend processes. The IT team’s role at this junction takes center stage. The idea is to ensure that the remote-location factor should not affect the seamless functioning of teams and their work pace.
Strong Company Culture
Another most essential factor for the success of a hybrid workforce is the organization’s relationship with the employees. Naturally, during stressful times, employees seek additional transparency, empathy, and display of strong leadership values from the management. Companies must establish and foster a strong company culture for the workforce to feel connected and united with the organization’s ideology. By and large, managing people in a remote work model can be as effective as managing in a traditional office environment, if team communication is well managed.
WFH through Employee Perspectives
The hybrid or remote-working scenario, however, is said to have disrupted the work-life balance of many employees. At times the line between working hours and personal time gets blurred while working from home. Undefined and stretched working hours for a prolonged time can lead to burnout and anxiety.
Again, most people live in shared spaces with young children and other members. They may need to share their work devices, especially with young children who have online classes through phones or laptops. Hence, organizations must have flexible working hour policies that ensure that their employees are not working overtime and also that they have their working hours as per their convenience.
With COVID-19’s impact across businesses, employees may go through uncertainties about their current job situations and other related issues. This can lead to unwanted stress and insecurities amongst the employees. In order to prevent that, companies must send out regular information regarding employee welfare schemes, promotions, salary opportunities and other benefits, and keep their employees well informed.
With zero physical meetings and only-online interactions between co-workers, the communication process can become tedious to some extent. Non-work related interactions and activities initiated by organizations have proved to be a great success with the workforce during the lockdown. Such activities help teams feel connected and keep the camaraderie going stronger. Any steps taken for employee’s well-being will never go unnoticed and will play a critical role in long-term talent retention and talent acquisition.
It is agreeable to say that the nature of work, engagement and office settings have changed profoundly after the recent pandemic. Workplace dynamics will continue to go through several alterations. Re-learning and adaptations to the changing scenarios will help businesses to keep moving forward.