The past year has seen many employees gain more control over when they get their tasks done, as well as gaining more independence in how they get their work done.
Employees who have worked remotely during the coronavirus lock down are becoming more independent and value personal time, so it is best that employers are ready to adapt to this new situation. Read also This is how you convince your boss of the idea. Do you want to work from home permanently? The answer may surprise you.. Does working from home make employees more productive? Working from home has boosted men’s productivity and career prospects and increased pressure on women This is what I learned about myself and my husband.. a British writer tells her experience in the time of remote work
Employees value the time they spend with their families more and pay more attention to personal priorities, and their lives may be forever changed due to the loss of a loved one or health concerns. After a year of working from home, many employees expect to have more control over how, when and where they do their work, and to have greater independence from their managers or organizations.
Adapting to the rhythm of the epidemic
In a report published by the newspaper “Wall Street Journal” ( WSJ American ), writer Alexandra Samuel said that in less than a year, employees were able to adapt to a radically different rhythm from what life was like before the pandemic, both on a personal and professional level.
Holly Burkett, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham in Britain and co-director of the Equal Parenting project at the university, says that employees do not even feel they need a great deal of management anymore, as she surveyed managers and employees after the outbreak of the epidemic, and said, “They feel more They are responsible for managing tasks even if they are not getting paid on time.”
With all these changes in working methods, managers need to think differently about how to effectively mentor and coach their team members when they return to the office. Contrary to what they think, managers will notice the positive impact of working from home on their employees.
For starters, bosses should think about renewing their relationship with each employee as if they were starting from scratch. To this end, bosses should not assume what their employees can or cannot do based on what they knew about them before the pandemic, because working from home has enabled them to acquire new capabilities that the boss is not aware of.
In this case, it is best to treat them as if they are new employees, knowing how they feel about returning to work from the office, what they are looking to achieve in the coming months or years, and how they hope to balance personal and work life.
Taste of independence
Judging from the working patterns of freelancers studied by David Paulin, a professor of technology management at Massey University School of Management in New Zealand, he says that “some employees may be concerned about management’s diminishing confidence in their ability to work more independently”.
Besides gaining more autonomy in how they get their work done, the past year has seen many employees have more control over when they get their tasks done.
Mered O’Connor of the University of New South Wales’ School of Business says, “Management has noticed that their employees have sought unrestricted working time during the day. It turns out that they spend fewer hours per day working before 5 pm, with a significant increase in work during the evening hours and during Weekends”.
In fact, giving up this flexibility in working hours would be difficult for many employees.
Dr. O’Connor recommends that bosses establish basic working hours during which every worker on a team or project should be on the job, whether online or in the office, thus allowing employees to freely manage the rest of their schedule.
Kim Kelly, professor of accounting at the University of Central Florida’s Kenneth G. Dixon School of Accountancy has found that during COVID-19, reliance on the most beneficial supervisory mechanisms for productivity, including face-to-face meetings, meetings with co-workers or third-party evaluations, has been replaced by less effective but more “more effective” approaches. Convenience for remote work”, such as online meetings, email, and work records.
For this reason, Kelly believes, “managers still need to maintain face-to-face contact with their employees, as well as rely on a broader set of employee performance monitoring units.”
Meetings and socializing
The idea of employees being available to keep up with the meeting around the clock from 9 am to 5 pm 5 days a week, as well as staying home and ready to take a call at any time, is outdated.
With employees divided between who works from home and who works in the office, all employees must be able to attend meetings. This will only work if managers take an approach that focuses on where the whole team is, and establish a common schedule that brings everyone on the team together in the office for 2-3 days each week.
During the pandemic, Birkett says, managers have used “team meetings and communications as a tool to promote well-being and support employees, not for purely operational reasons” and should continue to follow this practice.
Kelly advises managers to “create opportunities for people to go back to the same place”. A shared schedule is part of that strategy, but managers can do more by encouraging employees to increase their interactions during workdays while keeping employee personalities in mind.
For example, the past year allowed introverted employees to shed compulsive and uncomfortable social contact, while extroverts gave the opportunity to pursue their friendships and activities with colleagues outside of the workplace.