One of the most important impacts of the pandemic is how work schedules have altered. Before the pandemic, the fact that only a few people had the option to work from a distance now has become a part of our lives.
20 May 2022 ・ Author: Speaker Agency
At the beginning stages of the pandemic, it was simply a necessity to work from home, not really a choice. Working from home by obligation has some disadvantages besides advantages for the people in workforce. With the discovery of the vaccine and people also got used to living under the pressures of hygene regulations which allowed us to invent another term: ‘hybrid work’.
It was quickly realized that in fact it was not that necessary to actually go in to work (unless the job description required otherwise), to waste time in traffic and find the right combination of clothes. The flexibility and time saving aspects of working from home unfortunately come with insufficient space for work and the imbalance between work and home life. The effects of working from a distance for a prolonged time should never be underestimated.
The new work schedules and the effects of it need to be explored extensively. Also, it would be helpful to understand the situation of those who adapted well to the new ways of working and those who couldn’t.
We all felt relaxed when we saw that we had more time for ourselves while working from home. The fact that commuting was out of the way and the lack of stress caused by the work place relations were quite positive results. It’s possible to say for those who live in big cities, their life quaity actually improved.
People with self-discipline and are good at time management adapted to working from home quickly. Still, the pandemic itself and the changed work schedules came with a set of difficulties. It was observed that motivation and productivity decreased. People who needed the social environment at work to build a business plan were observed to lose productivity.
Due to new regulations regarding work conditions, company meetings and all related togetherness have been taking place on digital environments. As physical contact was risky and minimised, the interaction between work peers was also reduced. This resulted in employees feeling lonely because the meetings were held on digital platforms out of obligation with the help of technology which put ‘work’ (but only work) in focus and did not allow people to socialize. As the meetings became solely for duties to be carried out, the bond between the company and the team grew weaker and weaker.
Companies and the executives will find it necessary to think deeply about our changed socializing ways and explore new communication tools and ways to tackle the issue. The fact that employees are feeling lonely and not belonging to the company is a serious negative situation for businesses. Keeping the office environment active and accessible (instead of closing down the entire office place) will allow the employees to come in to work if they want to. Therefore hybrid working model is worth exploring.
Time management is the crucial factor about the balance between work and home life. Employees with families experienced a good deal of hardship at home for it was difficult to create a work space at home when there are children present. In some countries, there were school lockdowns which resulted in children being home all the time. Home became an environment where work, school work and households chores are combined and many families found it quite dificult to cope with this new environment. Spousal problems and family issues were reported to be in increase.
Both the employers and the employees can do a few things to correct the imbalance. Employers can stop asking the employers to be online on an undivided basis which creates pressure on the employees. On the other hand, employees can work out an efficient schedule for their professional and family-related responsibilities and improve their communication with their family members.
The stagnating effects of the pandemic on the economy have been worrisome for all. Working from home created an environment where the end results could be overlooked which brought added stress into the equation. This period, when the communication became thin, put extra stress on the employees for they thought they could lose their jobs. With so many questions on their minds, employees need to feel cared for by their employers. Clearly, it’s not easy for the employers either but, they have to do their share. Even with the fact that the work is being done away from the premises, employers should make the employees feel needed, wanted and appreciated.
Research conducted by Deloitte in 2020 shows that 72.9% of people say “yes” to question “Should work from home be extended even after the Corona-virus pandemic?” Obviously most working people would like to continue to work from home despite the disadvantages. It’s possible to say they would adopt the hybrid working method in the future. In an ever-changing world, employers and employees are going to have to work out a way to meet the needs of both sides by taking the right steps.
If you’d like to find out more about the new ways of work and work life, please refer to the speakers under Future of Work on our web pages. Our expert speakers Erica Dhawan, Silvia Garcia, Azeem Azhar, David Rowan have a lot to tell about future of work. Please contact us for further information.
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