With the nationwide lockdown taking a toll on the country’s GDP, a phased lifting of lockdown is the current course of the government. The novel coronavirus has not just changed the lives of people across the globe but also the way companies work and operate.
In fact, the pandemic came as a wake-up call for many companies that were unwilling to leave behind their traditional ways of working. It took a crisis of this magnitude for some businesses to rethink their organizational culture.
How Has COVID-19 Changed Workplace Ergonomics?
Before the pandemic phase, the “work from home” model was limited to sectors like the IT industry and some MNCs. However, during this isolation period, we’ve probably seen almost every working professional adapting to a new work structure referred to as “the new normal.”
Regardless of the office nostalgia, LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index finds that about one in three professionals in India under the age of 40 is keen to work remotely until they feel safer around people.
Companies such as Amazon are already using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) software to monitor social distancing adherence inside offices. Tech Mahindra has marked spaces in offices such as the lift and washrooms where only one person will be allowed at a time.
The workplace culture is experiencing a paradigm shift, and as we move further into a full lifting of the lockdown, office spaces are likely to see some changes that are here to stay.
Here are some areas where various companies might (and should) see organizational culture changes post the lockdown period.
1) Prioritizing Employee Welfare and Safety
At a time when employees are fearful and uncertain about their professional future, organizations must develop a strategy that motivates them to return to the office. Start with a complete review and overhaul of the present policies related to the physical and mental health, safety, and welfare of the employees.
Employees who are and have been severely affected by the pandemic require necessary support and aid. The care and empathy shown by the company at this time will instil a sense of belonging in the workforce.
2) A Flexible Working Model
Though the question remains as to why a remote working model was not preferred before, now is the best time to execute a flexible work structure in organizations. Given the present situation, it has been observed that most employees prefer working from the safety of their homes.
Moreover, by breaking the traditional time and place constraints for their employees, companies can help build a productive workforce. Remember, what works for your employees must work for your company as well.
3) Regular and Seamless Flow of Communication
At a time when meeting room conversations and group discussions are out of the question, businesses must resort to a virtual mode of interaction. Their approach to virtual communication and leadership post lockdown will play a crucial role in determining a healthy organizational culture.
Regular, individual check-ins can boost employee motivation and give you a peek into their ideas and concerns. Such an environment will assure them of the value they hold for the company.
4) Focusing on Employee Engagement Programs
With a surge in remote working and social distancing measures, sustaining an engaged workforce will be no walk in the park. To survive the ripple effects of the pandemic, companies need to adopt a people-oriented approach with a primary focus on employee engagement.
Understand your employees and connect with them; communicate the company’s values, even if you have to reiterate them. The employees should know they matter as much as the business that they bring in for you.
After all, a happily engaged workforce is what will yield happy customers and ultimately, a big win for your company!
A healthy organizational culture is what gives your company a competitive advantage over your peers. It not only attracts sustainable talent into your company but also enhances its output quality.
With job security and productivity at risk, it will be undeniably hard to achieve the desired employee engagement and motivate your workforce. But only the companies that adapt to the changing workplace culture have a shot at long-term success.