As organizations and businesses emerge into the post-covid scenario (and it is not over yet – not by a long shot), they find themselves struggling to cope with the changes required. These are organizational, team-centric changes that are necessary to ensure smooth functioning in the New Normal. Systems, routines, and scenarios taken for granted in the pre-covid era are turned inside out – newer ways to cope, function, and ensure efficiency are being fast-tracked. In many cases, the WFH is over and people, teams are reporting back for work – amidst strict hygiene, preventive sanitation & health protocols. While on the other hand, some are in WFH mode still, coping best as they can as professional & personal spaces overlap. Amidst this fluid scenario, leaders are scrambling to make order out of chaos, to get things operating smoothly again.
Let’s look at Some Takeaways that can help:
The Pre-COVID Norms are Gone
Many leaders are in fact thinking that this is not much of a problem at all – the sudden increase in remote working went quite well. People have transitioned relatively smoothly and work is on. However, all is not hunky-dory – people miss the office scene: the small breaks, face to face meetings, etc. But those days – make no mistake – are gone. Plus there is also the risk, however, that companies will rely too much on remote working. In the United States, more than 70 percent of jobs can’t be done offsite. Similarly, globally, in varying degrees, there will be tasks and work that will need the physical presence of employees and protocols to ensure safety & efficiency both, will need to be evolved and implemented. Remote work isn’t a panacea for today’s workplace challenges, such as training, unemployment, and productivity loss.
Streamlining Work for a Scattered Team
WFH and remote working are much more than just giving people a laptop, having zoom calls, and delegating work over emails. Many of the norms and routines of work-life in office just cannot be recreated – 1 particularly. The norm used to be, for example, that once you left the office, the work for that day was over. But now, with WFH and remote working, as one CEO told us, “It’s not so much working from home; rather, it’s really sleeping at the office.”
To ensure successful experiments in working from home and for it to be sustainable, companies need to assist their staff to create those boundaries: if something can be resolved by a quick phone call, a video conference should not be used. Setting regular office hours will help, besides tracking time & deliverables. Set rules that after a particular hour, no one is expected to answer emails.
Track and Deploy Best Practices in Collaboration, Flexibility, and Inclusion
Amidst the other things that COVID-19 coronavirus has wrought, being open to change is one. For years, organizations have been thinking about Collaboration, flexibility, and inclusion, with little progress. Now is the time to blend other businesses with yours and create a cognizant audience similar to what LegalWiz.in Partners Platform is offering. The idea is – why not seize the opportunity and usher in change when it is best required?
Since WFH is already a norm, try to build networks online – because the traditional office life has broken down. No more water cooler meetings, no informal interactions, no boss sitting in one corner with the tech team in their own silo. With instant accountability with supervisors keeping an eye on the room. Maybe it is worth trying to build similar informal interactions.
Leveraging the situation, moving towards data-based, distanced performance reviews could help evolve a more objective organization. There is some evidence that data-based, at-a-distance personnel assessments bear a closer relation to employees’ contributions than do traditional ones, which tend to favor visibility. Transitioning toward such systems could help to start the creation of a more diverse, more capable, and happier workforce. With remote working a norm, work becomes more accessible for disabled people and single parents can be more employable due to the flexibility offered by remote working. Companies can get access to a much more diverse and wider talent pool.
As organizations marshal resources to respond as effectively as they can, it would be best to remember that this is a golden opportunity to drive change and usher in systems & processes that can significantly impact the business continuity. Everyone is responding in different ways and those who streamline things properly, and practice collaboration, flexibility & inclusion will usher in future-ready teams.