Due to the virus, we have seen a massive shift in the way we approach our working lives. Suddenly, being trapped at home and having to work from our bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms and gardens has become the norm. And do you know what, most people like it that way.
They want the freedom of working at their own pace, being able to do the work they need to do, in more comfort and also, being able to have a better working lifestyle.
Nobody can tell them off for getting up and taking a break for a few minutes every hour. No one can tell them how to dress. No one can tell professionals that they have to work at certain hours of the day anymore.
Everyone is working at all hours of the day and night and we’re happily doing it too! Productivity has risen sharply and all of this means that businesses are now in a very tight spot.
They need to figure out how to entice workers back to the office. Involving employees in this process is so crucial.
Employers will have to now change their approach to the working world because happiness is very much high on the agenda for employees.
What we have witnessed in the COVID era of working is that mental health has become a very important and somewhat critical issue for some.
People have admitted feeling very lonely, sad and some have said that they feel like their normal lives may never return again. Some have even said they have contemplated suicide for the first time in thier lives.
So what can employers do to make their workplace more relaxing and welcoming?
Employee assistance programs: being able to address their concerns in a timely manner is very important.
Employees that perhaps want to change parts of their environment should be encouraged to speak up and use this program. This can be a range of services, such as mental health support at work in the form of councilors.
This can be delivered online as a company-service, that you can do by hiring mental health support workers as a third party for your employees to call and chat to.
You can also allow them to make suggestions to the workspace, such as adding more plants, flowers, more fresh air and generally, more natural light.
Before, it was a one-way street, whereby employers designed their own working areas and tried to keep in mind some of these things. But employees will want to have a say in these matters and in fact, run the show as it were.
Host company events
Employees should encourage their employers to host company events. So many businesses just didn’t invest in their own employees’ after-hours activities before.
This is why so many professionals have just lost touch with their colleagues and managers, simply doing the work, but not communicating with each other.
This will create an army of robotic workers that are unhappy and void of human contact. So you should ask for company events to be hosted and these are some ideas.
- After-hours parties. Yes, literally, having a party after work is over. This can be done for every month or once a fortnight. Employees can ‘clock off’ at 5 and they can hang around the office for a few hours and drink, eat, dance and chat with one another.
- You can also host award ceremonies so all your hard work is recognized. It doesn’t have to be included in any other industry-wide event, just for your employees and employer. It’s a way to bolster image, reputation and also, care and love for one another’s achievements.
Demanding a safer workplace
With the virus putting many people out of work, we are seeing a massive shift from employees and how their relationship with their employees stays strong. Having a safe workp[lace is now the absolute paramount decision to make for employers.
They need to show that they are taking all levels of health and safety more seriously than they have ever before. In fact, because of the new powers that employers have these days, you have every right to demand that you are compensated for any injuries or illnesses caused by a careless employer.
For example, if you have been forced to come back to work at the threat of being fired if you don’t, but then you do get ill and or injured, then you are entitled to Workers Compensation.
This is where you can get paid for the same amount of wages that you have lost due to a workplace injury that has put you out of work. It’s your lawyer’s responsibility to fight for compensation, that will pay for your expensive medical bills.
The lawyer will gather evidence, speak with you and form a case that will hold up in court and win. The aim is to get you the money you deserve due to the negligence and downright irrational behavior of your employer.
We all want to get back to work, but if the proper guidelines are not followed and you get sick with the virus, you are not to be blamed. Your employer will need to admit fault and pay up. Workers are no longer defenseless against employer ultimatums.
Healthy body = healthy mind
Workers need to listen to their employees who are demanding much better fitness facilities or access to fitness areas and equipment at work. Why?
Well, studies have shown that workers that are fitter and can workout during the day, or perhaps before they start work or even just after, are happier.
They are happier because they have a healthier body and that always causes a healthier mind to develop in tandem.
But employers could say that they don’t have the room for a fitness center or floor, in their commercial building. They may not have the funds to do such a thing. Instead, employers can do the following.
- Give your employers a fitness membership to a local gym. Local gyms will be happy to work with businesses and give their employees a discount membership as a promotional device.
- If you can’t do the aforementioned, then you can organize fitness meet-ups with your employees, such as on the weekend. Those that can travel to a park, will go for a run or partake in a yoga session together with their workmates.
- You can have company fitness events, such as participating in local marathons, jungle gym course challenges and things like tennis or badminton competition for charity.
There are lots of options for employees and employers to get more involved in fitness and sport. It helps everyone to become healthier physically but also, healthy in their minds.
Middle management is facing the axe due to cuts around the world. For the first time in human history, rather than workers at a junior level being fired and cut to save numbers and money, managers are on the chopping block.
Why? Well, since people are working at home and on the cloud, everyone can see each other’s work. Chasing up isn’t so laborious and understanding the project as a whole, is no longer privy to just a few people.
If we have a project software that all employees can access, there are simply more eyes and opinions that are watching over the quality of the project.
So stronger lines of communication are needed to keep the narrative of a task on track.
Managers need to do this by engaging more in conference calls, having outdoor meetings at coffee shops and places to eat, where social distancing is in force and generally, speaking with more attentiveness and patience.
Having one on one meetings with employees to check how they’re doing is highly recommended.
Be patient and more lenient
One thing we have learned from the lockdown and consequences to the economy is, giving people more time to work is very important.
We should be thankful to have a business, a job, a civilization which functions and provides us all with great lives. So being top dog is not always the ultimate goal for some. Employees and employers need to work together and be more honest about their troubles and challenges.
This way, with a more lenient approach to the world of work, we can take breaks and not worry about being chased up and hounded to get back to work immediately.
We don’t know what kind of issues someone is going through and the last thing they need is for a manager to come and find them while they are trying to slow down their mind, and tell them to go back to their desk.
Let’s all try and understand that work is a blessing, being able to have great employees is not to be taken for granted, let’s support each other and be more patient.
Employees and employers can change the world. This is their moment to work together and change the office environment forever and for the better. Employees need to start off with being more bolder and standing up for their rights. Employers need to invest in employee culture and have more downtime.