Career Wellbeing While Work From Home, a new normal during COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown
COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown have proved to be disruptive for businesses across industries in India and elsewhere. Data shows that urban unemployment has risen 30.9% and the overall unemployment rate is at 23.4%. The few weeks of lockdown has severely affected the economy. Experts believe that 13.6 crore people are at the risk of losing their jobs post-pandemic. The panic around the novel coronavirus, changes in workplace dynamics, and rising uncertainty of the future have taken a toll on the workforce.
Top organizations across the nation are focusing on working closely with their employees and prioritizing on their wellbeing.
“With remote working becoming the new normal, companies are taking measures to ease the transition from office space to working from home. Career wellbeing, which was always a concern, has become even more of a pressing issue for HR managers.“
Career wellbeing is considered as the most influential factor to an individual’s happiness and companies are focusing on providing adequate support and using this time effectively to upskill their employees during this lockdown time and helping employees be prepared for the changes that are expected in the near future. They are provided with emotional support, help in balancing professional and personal space and connectivity amongst other issues as they work from home.
Major enterprises are introducing innovative measures to curb anxiety among workers and maintain stability during this social distancing period. From emotional counselling to meditation sessions and virtual tea breaks, companies are encouraging their employees to stay connected and focus on staying healthy.
Employees are being asked by organizations to maintain a balance between their work and home. To aid them, employers are coming up with novel ideas like ‘work for home’ to dedicate time for household chores. Managers and team leaders are asked to be tolerant of mistakes and provide constant support and motivation. Conglomerates like Microsoft are providing resources to their disabled employees. Many organizations have paid advance salaries, to ensure the daily financial needs of the employees are not impeded due to the lockdown.
Meditation and Fitness
Wellbeing has taken the forefront of productivity in large and small organizations. Researchers believe that social distancing can result in depression, especially in the younger workers who are below 30. Being cooped up at home can also affect employee health and wellbeing. Organizations are conducting virtual meditation, yoga, and fitness session to ensure the employees stay fit. Such regimes will also help calm the workers and give them a chance to connect with other employees.
The quarantine period has allowed us to introspect and assess our abilities. Organizations can use this opportunity to encourage upskilling and reskilling their workforce and enroll them for programs that can enhance their cognitive and non-cognitive skills. They could also help employees sign off to learn skills they are passionate about and use this time effectively.
As regular work-life has shifted from physical offices to remote working, virtual teams have become vital for staying communicating and connecting with the team. Multiple platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Gotomeeting amongst many others can be used to coordinate with and monitor each team member and enhance the productivity and quality of the product and services.
Humans need connection, something they are losing out on in this lockdown. This loss can lead to emotional and psychological imbalance. Enterprises are getting counsellors and psychologists on board to help their employees, understand their fears, give advice to create a safe harbour for their employees, and help them cope with the difficult times.
One Call Away
Managers and team leads are asked to contact their team members at regular intervals, both individually and as a team. They are being urged to keep the team motivated and in case of distress, connect the employee to an expert for guidance. Over two dozen corporate employers are setting up services, zoom calls, and motivational sessions to keep the employees engaged.
The pandemic has proved that organizations need to make smart and innovative strategies to combat such unprecedented disasters. They need to assimilate policies to ensure that any such unforeseeable circumstances do not have a negative effect on employee morale, business productivity and organizational culture.