The job market has seen perhaps the most significant change in its history this year. Since the onset of the global pandemic, working practices have shifted dramatically, and, in some cases, permanently. Massive downtown office complexes remain empty, and more companies are fleshing out their work-from-home strategies, hunkering down for the long-term.
Working from home protects workers and the wider community. During a pandemic, it is the perfect compromise – allowing companies to remain productive while doing their bit to prevent transmission.
With that said, it’s not without its pitfalls. Here are some of the things that can go wrong at the business level.
People Work Too Much
You would think that working from home would mean that people work less. In reality, though, the evidence suggests that they work more. An office is a place of work, but at least when employees go home in the evening, the day is done – not so at home. Employees are chained to their computers and smartphones and can’t really get away from them.
Firms, therefore, need to institute sensible work-life policies. Things like no work after 7 pm can help massively and ultimately increase productivity.
Difficulties With Onboarding
Employee onboarding is challenging at the best of times. But during a pandemic, it becomes even more challenging. Companies must somehow get the measure of people, without actually meeting them in person. Furthermore, they somehow have to integrate them with the rest of the team, without any personal interactions with other team members. Again, it’s not easy.
Slick onboarding processes are essential if you want to get the most out of your new hires. Start designing the process now if you haven’t already, and ensure that you utilise at least some in-person interactions to help them settle in.
Problems With The Culture
If you have one group of people at the head office and another working remotely, it can lead to an “in-group” and an “out-group.” The “in-group” sees itself as superior and the core of the company, while the out-group is just “hangers-on” and second-class employees.
Developments like this can be particularly destructive for companies. It can lead to a loss of morale and productivity. And people can even wind up leaving the firm and looking for pastures new.
No company, however, has to put up with this sort of thing. Simple things like hosting compulsory socials can help everyone get to know each other, preventing the development of cliques.
Interruptions From Kids
Working from home is great for single, professional people who don’t have families. For everyone else, it’s a nightmare. Constant interruptions from kids and spouses interrupt the flow of work and make it hard to get things done.
Companies, therefore, need to be aware of this sort of thing. Kids are liable to walk into home offices at any point, including during conference calls. Firms can, therefore, offer remote workers strategies that they can use to help make it easier for them to concentrate on their work. Co-working spaces, for instance, might be an option.