In the past two years, disruptions to workplaces have been part and parcel of daily life as governments worldwide scramble to contain the virus. Inevitably, the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt deeply by business leaders worldwide.
Thrust into uncertainty, many businesses have started to reconfigure the way they work to cope better with the new normal, of remote working, hybrid workplace models, and an increasingly digitalized workforce.
And as time passes, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no going back to the ways things were done pre-COVID.
So, what does it mean for the future?
To embrace a workplace and workforce disrupted by COVID complications, forward-thinking HR business leaders need to prepare themselves to help shape a productive and connected workforce amidst the crisis.
Read on to learn some effective ways companies are embracing these inevitable workplace disruptions.
1. Maintain Priority of Employee’s Health & Wellness
In the throes of the pandemic, many companies and organizations have scrambled to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the physical well-being of their employees.
From having a good proportion of the workforce working from home, ensuring regular disinfection of physical offices, incorporating safety features like better indoor ventilation systems, anti-microbial surfaces, and more, many companies have gone the extra mile to ensure the safety of their workforce.
What about going forward? Experts believe that employees, having experienced this obligation will not accept a return to pre-pandemic levels going forward.
In fact, in a potentially long-drawn-out hybrid workplace model which takes a toll on employees where burnout is a real risk, businesses and their HR functions, in particular, will need to come up with strategies to ensure employee well-being and productivity.
2. Improving Virtual Collaboration and Communication
As companies had to increasingly move their operations online due to remote working, many employees started to realize that working online just isn’t the same.
Statistics show that even after 2 years of experimenting with this new working model, almost 20% of employees still struggle with collaboration and communication.
And that is also the reason why many companies are choosing to invest in various ways to help increase and improve this persistent issue.
Apart from having the basic and secure IT infrastructure in place for each employee, the onus is on the company to provide access to and proper training of tools to help their employees work productively virtually.
Some useful virtual collaboration and communication tools include:
- Chat and messenger apps
- Videoconferencing software
- File sharing platforms
- All-in-one collaboration tools
3. Reinforce a Sense of Community and Interaction
The monotony of working in insolation can wear anyone down, which is bad for productivity.
A study by Microsoft on 61,000 employees, illustrates a worrying concern that working-from-home could result in diminished productivity and innovation. The reason behind this observed effect? People tend to become increasingly more siloed over time, relying on poorer forms of communication like email and IM instead of video and audio calls.
So how can companies combat this problem? By reinforcing a sense of community and interaction through team or organizational-level activities:
- Virtual “open door” sessions with the managers
- Online team bonding activities
- Virtual workspaces
- Online show and tell spaces – for employees to share more about themselves
4. Adopt Alternative Hiring Models
With remote working, traditional barriers like physical borders are increasingly blurred. Now, there is no difference in hiring a remote worker from any part of the world to complete the same task as a local employee.
This opens up a world of opportunity and a larger pool of on-demand workforce that businesses can now choose to tap on.
Don’t want to manage these remote workers in-house? Companies can rely on professional Employer of Record (EOR) partners like TG to help recruit and manage them on their behalf – freeing up your HR leaders to focus on other more pressing needs.
5. Maintain A Culture of Trust, Transparency, and Openness
Trust, transparency, and openness are key to clear and effective communication during such uncertain times.
In times when employees are not able to be physically in the same space, it is especially important to ensure that they continue to feel supported, included, and engaged.
Here are some things to do to ensure that is the case:
- Develop proper protocols for dissemination of communication
- Update website with latest workplace policies
- Ensure that are official feedback channels for employees with questions
Shaping Your Workforce of the Future
Does it seem like the shaping of your ideal workforce of the future has a long way to go?
Fortunately, TG is here to help. Focus on the strategic changes for the organization and leave the administrative HR matters to us. A strong global HR partner of many businesses worldwide, in more than 50 + markets globally and 100 years of experience, you can have peace of mind when we have your back.
Contact us today to learn how we can help!