The onset of an unexpected lockdown has transformed the very fabric of our social everyday conduct. In what many call the post-covid era, digital communication has truly integrated into our lives, paradoxically limiting and expanding our horizons at the same time. However, no matter the nature of the challenge posed, the mechanical wheels of business never halt.
We’ve witnessed a rapid and global adaptation of various businesses into a completely virtual environment. Even businesses that scoffed at the idea of working from home had to ultimately succumb to it. But the rise of this new digital working reality has parallely given rise to new workplace questions. Questions like how to preserve and grow productivity? How to monitor progress? Where is the line between working hours and non-working hours? Has the saved physical fatigue of travelling to work doubled in mental fatigue of overwork?
To best understand the answer to these questions and more such related questions, let’s take a look at how an ideal virtual workplace environment would be and how you can create one.
An ideal workplace environment has:
- Communication as the key: While open communication can unlock and free you from stressful situations in these times, miscommunication and communication gaps created through online channels can also lock you further into the feeling of loneliness or helplessness. To achieve effective and open communication, alternate between communication channels like text, call, and video based communication.
- Respect for boundaries: With people working from their homes across the world, the boundaries between work hours and non working hours has faded, this has added to people’s stress and resulted in mental exhaustion.
You can counter this by being respectful for everyone’s time and setting boundaries between work and off-work hours. Channelize your team’s energy in the right direction, do not overburden them with the expectations of ‘more’ in the light of ‘comfortable work from home’ situation.
- A sense for still having fun: Keep a track of productivity, when everyone seems a bit low, introduce some interesting team building icebreakers that can raise everyone’s spirits.
Host virtual sessions and parties, try team building icebreakers and online games to give everyone a break from the monotony of every day and refresh their minds.
- Deep empathy: Excessive screen time can take a toll on anyone and can add to the existing anxiety that the pandemic has had on everyone; listen to your employees, make space for individual expressions and be cooperative. Avoid extending the working hours simply because there isn’t a physical shop that shuts when the bell rings.
Value everyone’s personal space, just because they could be at your disposal at any time remotely, doesn’t mean that they are accessible at any hour you need them.
- Celebrations and trust: Most importantly, have faith in your team, do not compulsively seek updates when not needed, not everything can be controlled and monitored. Show trust in each of your employee’s working capabilities and celebrate when you hit a milestone, even if it’s a completion of a simple to-do list.
In this post-covid era, working can feel like a getaway and also like a trap. The responsibility to make it feel like the former lies in the hands of the people who are in the lead. It has become imperative for everyone to be mindful of their online selves and how they operate in this new virtual corporate landscape. Especially for the people who are looked up to need to strive for creating a respectful workplace where the time, space, and boundaries of their employees is respected. Such a workplace is not a matter of luck but the mark of sincere effort focused on the betterment of its organization and its people.