This global health crisis has been hard on everyone. It’s been rough for the front-liners who continue to risk their lives every day to serve as the backbones of the economy, as well as the students who were forced to receive their education through computers instead of the traditional face-to-face instruction.
The pandemic has also been hard on the workforce, who had no choice but to work from their own homes to earn their living despite the bleak circumstances somehow. When the choice was to be on the front lines, work from home, or join the recession, the second option appears to be the most forgiving.
Thousands upon thousands of families across the world depended on the remote working setup to achieve some semblance of normalcy amidst these trying times. But while this setup proved to be the best solution for workers to still earn their paychecks, it doesn’t come free of challenges.
Working from home blurred the lines between careers and home life for many employees, especially since all they have are dedicated workspaces, but sometimes not even that. To cope with this fatigue, managers should be more focused on employee welfare and management, beginning with these three aspects:
Understandably, just because everyone is working from home doesn’t mean it’s okay to be lax with deadlines and schedules. You’re still running a company, after all, which is why you must be firm with the timelines you’ve set for projects and individual tasks. But that shouldn’t come at the cost of your employees’ health.
When there’s no longer a need to travel to and from work, it’s easy to lose track of time. That’s why so many employees working from home tend to overwork themselves because there’s nothing that’s separating their work life from their home lives anymore. And that’s where you come in.
Of course, it’s important to meet the deadlines and stay on track so that your bottom line won’t be affected, but don’t be too stringent with your rules that your employees feel like they’re on a tight leash. Encourage them to log off immediately after work and set proper boundaries for themselves.
This way, they can still draw an imaginary line between their work and home life, even if some parts of those still overlap. At least with this remote working setup, they can supervise the repair when they call electrical services instead of having to leave work early or wait until the evening to get their house fixed.
Even if everyone in your company is only communicating through computer screens and video-sharing platforms, you must remember that there is still a person behind the screen. You are not managing a bunch of robots who can work tirelessly; rather, you’re handling a team of human beings that get tired too.
The pandemic has been exhausting for everyone, even if they don’t tell you out loud. Your job is to make sure that you’re not only focused on the quality of work being delivered to you but also on the welfare of your employees. This is because, without your employees, your company will struggle to stay afloat.
Employees are and will always be a company’s greatest asset. That’s why you must take care of their well-being, now more than ever. Their valuable contributions to the business are what keeps your company going, but those will disappear if your employees burn themselves out from stress and overwhelming responsibilities.
If there’s one thing that the pandemic didn’t change in workplaces, it’s that communication is still key. You must hold daily conversations with your employees for meetings and collaborative projects or follow up on tasks that have been held back. But communication shouldn’t be limited to work-related topics.
One of the biggest sources of employee morale is the company culture. Remember that on the hardest days in the office, a simple chat with a colleague in the break room can reduce the stress of your work. But that has completely disappeared in the work-from-home setup; all you have left are Zoom calls and messaging apps.
When you’re managing people, you must create opportunities to communicate outside the bounds of work. This could be a great way to improve your working relationships with one another and strengthen the workplace culture, especially since social interactions are an essential part of professional life.
You can hold game nights for employee morale or one-on-one conversations with your employees to listen to their concerns. Allow them to voice their opinions and take the time to listen to what they have to say. Through this, you may be able to develop a better approach to employee management.
This is not to say that you should be best friends with your employees; you need to be professional and firm when it comes to working. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be human. Be a pillar of strength and a figure of emotional or moral support for your employees. That’s how you can help them cope better.