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Covid-19 tests the people’s place in the company

In recent years, companies have paid more attention to their employees; they are interested in their physical and emotional health, they have created rooms for breastfeeding, games, relaxation in addition to flexible schedules, but the arrival of Coronavirus has put the people’s place  in the company to test.

It’s no longer a question of creating rooms in the company, but really taking an interest in the collaborator, because when working remotely the rapport with the worker needs to be intensified.

No matter your company’s size, nationality, or your city’s level of pandemic keep employees informed about what's going on with the company and make them feel safe about their work.

You also need to be honest and if the company is going through a bad time it is important to tell your employees and let them know what possible actions to take. It's not about causing panic, just having both feet on the ground.

In these times, communication must be transparent, concise, and frequent. This will make the worker feel confident, included, and loyal.

Home office

It is true that home office work has stepped up, and that technology makes working much more amenable, while enabling metrics and working at any time, but we must not neglect the human side. Not everyone is made to work at home.

The home office is normally a benefit and before the pandemic it brought high rates of productivity. The situation is now different, we are forced to work from home, and it is not a choice of our own.

Previously, whoever decided to work from home set aside a private, noise-free workspace. Many now cannot do so and use the dining room or the bedroom to work. Besides, children and the partner are also at home making for complex dynamics.

Indeed, it’s impossible to go with each employee and become familiar with their situation, what they need to feel good. But it is important that they know that the company does everything in its power to make them feel comfortable, so that they do their work in the best way.

You can start with each leader asking their team members who then ask their closest ones about the main difficulties faced.  This way a chain can be formed to find out the problems for starting implementation actions, I assure you that there will be more than one matching problem. 

You can also seek feedback from collaborators, to do so approach HR and get support from systems for making video conferences. You can hold one per week to plan the agenda and to find out the results.

Flexible schedules

To make remote work pleasanter, define goals and flexible schedules. Remember that being at home we have more time but also more activities, and we cannot always all connect at the same time for a video call, so ask what the best time is and do not impose an hour.

Flexible hours

For everyone to work in harmony, set project deadlines and on a daily basis determine what the working schedule or times will be when they are required to be more focused, so that collaborators can have free time.

Recognize work

Recognize collaborators too, just because they're far away doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t announce an achievement someone has made. Let them know that you’re following their work and that everything they do helps the company to stay on track, that they are key to the company.

In this way you can intensify your career plans. It's true that the economic crisis is going to affect the business and budget cuts have had to be made, but there are free or low-cost platforms that you can promote so that employees can get new skills.

It is well-recognized that companies investing in their human capital during crisis times create loyal employees, and once the storm is over the results will be the best.

These courses don’t have to be just about skills, but also about relaxation and meditation. Remember, we're all undergoing stress, we don't know how long it's going to be before we can get back to normal.

Actions to keep engaged while working in remote:

  • Preparation: assess the impact of actions, prioritize projects and team tasks, and conduct team sessions
  • Structure: set up a structure, organize feedback meetings and check in with the team
  • Safety and well-being: promote free time, health, and well-being for employees

Productivity and experimentation: assign roles in the team, let them experiment and recognize those who have the guts to do so.

Elizabeth Meza Rodríguez

Elizabeth Meza Rodríguez es editora de El Empresario y Management, secciones de emprendimiento, pymes y capital humano de El Economista y colabora para Factor Capital Humano. Es licenciada en Comunicación por la UNAM y asistió al diplomado de actualización periodística impartido por el Tecnológico de Monterrey y al seminario de actualización periodística en salud de la Universidad Panamericana. Su pasión por la salud, la innovación y la economía se ven reflejados en temas de recursos humanos, responsabilidad social y emprendimiento. Colabora, junto con 20 medios económicos, en Solutions&Co, publicación que difunde textos de innovaciones y empresas a nivel mundial con el objetivo de ayudar al cuidado del medio ambiente. Fue finalista de VII Premio de Periodismo Iberoamericano (2017) realizado por IE Business School y Softland.

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