The Covid-19 pandemic brought various challenges and changes at so many levels. It also contributed to the usage of popular terms (especially on social media), such as the new normal. And one of our “new normals” is working from home.
Almost instantly as it emerged at a global scale, it was clear that fighting this coronavirus will demand agility and resourcefulness. Adjusting to the new circumstances was, and still is, a must. And somewhere down the road, many global companies seem to have realized that working from home offers as many advantages as office work does. Some go as far as asking: do we even need offices anymore?
Depends on whom you ask.
Digital nomad is no longer a perk of a freelancer
If you have a stable internet connection and a quiet room to work in, it’s not so difficult to get things done as if you were at the office. Just as companies needed to adjust to the new reality, so did the tech giants who wasted no time to upgrade existing and offer a variety of innovative tools and platforms to make this new reality easier. The internet was bursting with photos of people working from their weekend houses and getting a digital nomad vibe.
Of course, the cloud was – and still is – a major help for all businesses and individuals who had to adjust to remote work, providing a secure and flexible alternative to the office work experience.
Bearing this in mind, companies like Atlassian, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter either closed their offices or offered a permanent opportunity for their employees to work from home.
But, not everyone is cut out to be a nomad
While remote work is the concept of choice for some, it’s a productivity nightmare for others. There are a few reasons for that: not everybody is able to have the right atmosphere at home; one that boosts work efficiency. For others, live social interaction is irreplaceable. And then there are people who are well adjusted to their daily routine of going to the office – they’re simply not interested in working from the beach or their living room.
People are social beings. Regular social interactions boost the level of happiness and bolster the sense of belonging.
dr Tamara Tomovic, executive & business performance coach
So true. And having this habit suddenly cut due to a global pandemic crisis can affect people’s productivity, efficiency and overall sense of work satisfaction. And it does so differently, based on individual personality, emotional intelligence, life standard, and so on.
After the adaptation period, the interaction with our co-workers became more important than ever. Some researches show that at first, there was an increase in productivity; but now, many people are facing fatigue, followed by an inevitable decline in work efficiency.
Experts, like Tamara Tomovic, say that this time should be used to make sure every team member feels included and recognized.
It’s not difficult to keep the spirits high
There are two sides to the responsibility for the overall psychological wellbeing of a company: one that comes from the employees and one that comes from employers.
Employees are in charge of organising their time, focusing on prioritizing the work, keeping the video communication with the colleagues live (a bonus tip: no Zoom calls in your PJ-s!). Not to forget, it is also important to use your holiday!
Employers and team leaders should organize weekly 1 on 1 meeting to make sure everyone feels OK. Their main task, however, is to respect the boundaries; if someone’s office is now at home, it doesn’t make them constantly available. In periods like this, a good leader sends a positive message and offers an understanding to the team members.
Which advice would an expert give to company management for the upcoming period? Dr Tamara Tomovic emphasizes that colder weather can make people feel even more anxious and lonely. So, she advises:
Be creative in your approach to your employees. Organize online workshops, exchange photos, create a newsletter, start a short survey…
No one can read other people’s minds. So encourage your team to share whatever is on their mind and be proactive in their requests. If a request is denied for any
Use this period to explore and push the boundaries!