By Frederik Haentjens

March 2020. The world felt as if it had stopped turning. The pandemic forced the masses into their homes to stop the spread of this deadly disease. According to worldometers.info/coronavirus, over 1 million people have lost their battle with Covid-19, but in lieu of the ongoing pandemic, the world has slowly begun to return to a new, remote way of life. While businesses have faced challenges like never before, those that have creatively transitioned into remote work are thriving amid the chaos.

The remote workflow has become the new norm for millions of people with the support of communication and organizational apps, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, have made the change from office life to work-from-home life exceptionally easier, more so than any of us could have imagined. Many companies have adopted a more flexible work schedule, which allows for more freedom in addition to a healthier work-life balance. Happy employees are proven to be more productive and loyal. Major companies, such as Twitter, have transitioned to 100% remote work showing other employers that it can be done.

While change is inevitable, this sudden and drastic change has affected businesses throughout the world. The days of coffee shop meetings, conference room talks, and offices full of employees are not the present workflows being experienced by employers, employees, and clients. Creating a more flexible, remote schedule has had a positive impact on the work-life balance for everyone. Employers are experiencing happier employees, which has led to more productivity and progress.

Suggested practices that should be kept when life eventually returns to the new workplace:

  • Increase employer and employee trust when implementing tools to monitor and organize progress, milestones, and timecards to ensure workload is executed properly. Do not create a healthy employer-employee trust circle.
  • Equip managers and employees with a project and outcome-based performance management procedures to ensure there is no confusion as to what is expected. Establish clear goals and boundaries.
  • Use of video communication features, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, to keep the conversation and conference calls interesting and engaging for clients and employees, which will help management maintain open communication for all parties involved.

Covid-19 has changed the way the office of the past functions. No longer will the 9-5 be the only way companies manage their employee’s time. Employees and companies offering a more flexible remote working environment are more appealing to the modern worker rather than the mundane 9-5 office experience. Companies and employers have been able to see the productivity of the remote worker over what was a wide generalization that remote workers do not actually work.

When the dust finally settles, returning to a new way of work is inevitable. As employers and management, evolving with the new practices adopted during these months of remote work will have beneficial impacts on the new working environment. Practices to retain as we reenter the workforce include interactive and engaging ways to communicate, maintaining trust between the employer, employee, and client by utilizing time tracking and progress management. In addition to organizational tools that will help clearly define goals and expected milestones to eliminate any confusion or miscommunication. The ability to evolve with the new workflow will be essential in order to maintain successful business practices.

Resource:

Delmore, Tiffany. 2020. 7 Aspects of Remote Work Entrepreneurs Should Keep When Returning to the Office. Entrepreneurs. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/355977