COVID-19 changed the workforce, and as companies begin returning to the office, or revamping how things are done, it's important to think about what employees need.
As 2021 moves forward, some companies are looking to return to normal, some companies are going to stay fully remote, and others are still trying to define their new normal. One thing is for certain, though: there are many things that employers can do moving forward to help put their employees first.
Focus On Employee Well-Being
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, there was already a growing trend of employers putting extra focus on employee well-being and mental health, and that will need to continue in its aftermath.
There are both small and large steps that companies can take to invest more in employee well-being. Some companies offer employees free subscriptions to Headspace, an app that focuses on guided meditation and healthy lifestyles. There are also several other mobile apps that focus on mental well-being.
Some companies have altered their employee benefits packages to include a certain amount of counseling sessions and telemedicine options. It's also likely that companies will take a closer look at sick time policies, based on lessons learned from COVID-19.
The coronavirus pandemic has been stressful, and stress affects everyone differently. That stress may still be evident as people return to work, and it will be important to be mindful of that.
Continue To Be Flexible
How people return to work following COVID-19 is still an ongoing process. Some businesses that are able to do work remotely are keeping their workforces remote.
Some businesses are only having a small number of employees return to the office and keeping the rest of the workforce remote. As far as long-term impacts, some businesses have fallen in love with the remote work model and decided to give up their offices and save on their real estate costs.
Whatever the case, businesses should continue to allow remote work flexibility, and even improve their remote work infrastructure.
With so much attention and resources out on remote work over the last year, it only makes sense to have a strong remote work structure in place moving forward. In addition, when companies start to hire again, remote work flexibility also makes companies extra attractive to top talent.
Now that more companies have adapted to remote work, it would be silly to go backward.
Better Communication Is Essential
With all the changes taking place as a result of COVID-19, and in some cases mass layoffs, it's as important as ever to keep employees in the loop.
Employees may be concerned about their futures at the company or changes to their jobs. Share what information you can with employees, and share the information often.
The combination of changes from COVID-19 and the stress that comes with it will make some of the workforce uneasy at first.
Transparency will not only help ease some of these concerns, but it makes for a healthier workplace overall.
All of these potential changes brought on by COVID-19 have the potential to make the workplace better and improve employee happiness. If employers can keep these things in mind, it may ensure the long-term success of their companies.
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