What is an HR executive to do to ensure that employees are both well-cared for and productive during their Work-From-Home (WFH) tenure? No doubt, due to a multitude of generational employees who desire, if not demand, workplace flexibility the ‘how to’ conversation was already happening amongst HR teams worldwide. No longer theoretical, but wide-spread and happening now…. thanks to the pandemic …. Human Resources professionals play a critical role in finding safe, flexible workplace solutions and developing the policies that support their work from home employees.
The obvious concerns that arise from this forced WFH for millions of workers are the challenges created by an unplanned dislocation of the workforce, namely:
- Isolation, anxiety and emotional well-being
- Lack of productivity (not having the right technology tools or child-care and other home-based worker conflicts),
- Physical work-space restrictions (needing to work from the couch, the garage, the kitchen table),
- Inadequate internet capabilities,
- Shortcomings of video meeting platforms as the only form of face/face business contact,
- Concerns about lack of proper ergonomic seating and desking
A lot is riding on how companies adapt to these issues. Women are already leaving the workforce in unprecedented numbers due to the work/family conflicts arising out of this crisis. Now is the time that employers must maintain their most productive, nimble and creative teams. Now is the time to find the most flexible of solutions and offer them to all employees.
Coworking and Flex Office Space are an important tool in the toolbox. Offering a safe, off-site workplace amenity is really a must for any responsible employer. Offering a space where your employees can utilize a local office and engage in heads down quiet work, is both helpful and smart. Offering a solution for your employees to get online for a video call and feel confident that they are not competing with the needs of the other members of their household is important. (How many of us now stare at pictures of those that we are having a conversation with because the video connection needs to be disabled?) Offering a space where your employees can work with consistent and robust internet connectivity is a requirement. Offering a place where your employees can grab a cup of coffee or tea, and a snack, and just say, ‘hello’ to a friendly face – someone they don’t live with – and feel ‘normal’ for a few minutes, is just a nice thing to do. In other words, offering the antidote to the work-from-home syndrome is what we need.
This solution is available for any sized organization’s employees and does not come with a high price tag. For less than $200 per employee, per month, you can give your employees the resources they need to do their best work for you, through 2020, 2021 and, it appears, well into the future.
Good luck and let’s share notes!
Author: Tracy Wilson, HR EVP, CloudVO
Tracy can be joined at Tracy@CloudVO.com