Pandemic Fatigue: Reconnecting with Workplace
The corona vaccine is out and there are massive campaigns being run by the governments in almost all parts of the world to get their citizens immunized. It also means its time to go back to the business full throttle. However, with almost an entire year of virtual working, how can organizations ensure that their employees reconnect with the workplace in an organic and productive manner.
For an entire year, people have attended zoom meetings and calls, collaborated with virtual teams, and invested time and effort to acclimatize themselves to the new normal. It must not be forgotten that the normal today was an unforeseen crisis then and so many of us struggled to keep afloat.
Amidst, job losses, pay cuts, loss of loved ones, the year had taken a toll on emotional and physical well being of most of us. It also meant that people spent more time with their families, parents and caregivers did not have to constantly coordinate and manage between work and home and with time most of workers managed to find that balance.
With the promise of offices resuming normal work in near future comes more as a routine disruptor than an all positive things going back to normal situation. Can organizations proactively do something to make this transition smooth?
The below steps are a broad guideline which would help organizations prepare to welcome back the employees after a prolonged absence from offices.
For organizations it will also mean to reassess their situations within changing business situations. Realigning goals and objectives should be taken care of before the workforce is invited to join back in full force. Having redirected the organizational map as the first step will help realign the employees to the new goals as well which will be crucial in the way organizations reboot themselves.
Reflecting closely on what has worked, what lessons were learnt and what were the obstacles and challenges faced will provide a productive insight into what should be the way forward. Recovery will not be overnight but will take time, patience and commitment from the higher management and the organizations will have to extend the same patience to their employees as well during this transition as well.
A systematic effort will be required from the organizations part to display recommitment towards employees and their needs. The pandemic has proven that the future belongs to the organizations that have strong people centric, humanist approach to business.
Valuing people consistently will drive the progress and help achieve milestones in these times. Refocusing on the purpose and meaning in work and translating it effectively for the employees is also the need of the hour as people are disillusioned and still shaky with a mass tragedy of this magnitude. Simple delivery on objectives alone can no longer be a measure of performance but better appraisal methods that accommodate the changed needs need to be implemented.
The recovery will be marked by focused and resilient workforce enabled by organizational policies and processes to deliver efficient results with speed, agility, and judicious use of technology. The Human Resources, therefore, have a redefined role and they need to embrace it to be able to deliver values within organizations.
Apart from following up on the fundamentals of this transition like realigning the compensation, performance and career management, labor laws and tax changes, now is also the time to become the bolder voice of change by aligning individual to the organization.
Hoping the organizations and workplaces reflect, redirect and realign to become the beacon of hope for many who are battling financial and psychological insecurities and work towards a better future for all stakeholders.
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