The Pandemic Situation
The current pandemic situation as we all know has not only increased the importance of work-from-home culture but has also made it the only possible solution for doing a job or a business. This seems to be the only way for going about one’s job while staying healthy. The year 2020-21 caused a great loss of human life forcing people to shut down their shops, offices, companies, factories, etc., i.e. to say that every outlet engaged in economic activity was forced to shut down to save a life. Life itself had stopped as how humans would survive was the big question being asked.
But then humans have to work to make a living for themselves and their families. This is where the concept of WFH came to help. Slowly and gradually as the lockdown was lifted by the governments in different parts of the world; executives, business associates, software engineers, consultants, small business outlets, customer service executives, tutors, fitness instructors, social media experts, writers, journalists, dance teachers, yoga gurus, everyone who had to work, started working from home. Even the schools and colleges started with online classes. Engineering and medical colleges were forced to.
WFH and Employee Engagement
The pandemic accelerated the need for more flexible work arrangements that include at least some remote work or as we commonly call it work from home. But for this to succeed there are certain key factors that the companies need to take care of so that the employees don’t feel neglected and employee engagement does not take a back seat. For any business to be successful employees need to be fully engaged whether they are working in a traditional office set up or working from home, should not matter.
The management to have 100% engagement of their employees should:
- Ensure that there is frequent, transparent, and consistent communication
- Provide support for employees’ well being
- Keep remote teams engaged and productive
- Be mindful of the fact that their employees need to maintain a proper work-life balance
Researchers looking into the WFH culture feel that remote work or work from home might make it easy for some to juggle work and personal life and responsibilities. But for some, however, working from home may bring additional challenges as it might be difficult for them to find a distraction-free workplace in their house while taking care of their children or other family members.
How employees react to remote work arrangements is highly variable and highly individual as they all are working from different places. So the leadership needs to take time and understand what works best for each individual and accordingly help their employees to create a structure and set limits. There should be a schedule such that everyone can just “turn off” at the end of the workday. Just because the employees are working from home does not mean that they don’t need time off. Due to the current situation, the added personal responsibilities, and worries many employees are carrying, recharging is critical. Encouraging breaks and time off while focussing on engagement through meaningful and rewarding work will be as vital as ever. Working from home or returning to the office will then have zero effect on employees’ performance.