A Different Type of Workday: COVID-19 Trends
Everyone is changing how they work as the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the business world and how we operate in 2020. More than 400 business leaders in our communities have taken the time to share with Enterprise how they are thinking differently about the workday and creative solutions they are putting in place.
There are two main scenarios that are becoming clear. Do you have a workforce that can work from home or are you an essential business that needs to have feet on the ground? Or, maybe you are a business that has associates in both categories. Either way, companies are learning to work with a temporary new normal and each scenario comes with its own challenges. These are some of the most common challenges business leaders are seeing arise.
Working From Home
Students are out of school for an extended period of time, if not for the rest of the school year. This situation has immediate ramifications for workers with children at home. Your kids may have become your new coworkers and you are learning to share an “office space.”
Consider how you can redefine the workday for your associates. Companies are allowing their workers to be flexible with their timing and change to multi-shift work hours. This allows associates to work around their lack of childcare during normal business hours while also keeping their children engaged with school work.
The “Stay-at-Home” orders have put a big constraint on those used to meeting face-to-face with clients. Learning how to continue those relationships has been a challenge for many business leaders and sales staff.
Creativity is key here for business leaders and being in 2020, there are a lot of technology options available to take advantage of and not lose traction with your staff and customers. Video conferencing software is something business leaders are implementing quickly, and don’t forget about videos right on your phone, too, for one-on-one meetings. Virtual events, such as networking, seminars, and happy hours, are replacing normal in-person meetings to keep communication and morale high.
Also, leaders are reminding their employees, as well as themselves, it’s okay to hear children and pets in the background of those conference calls. We are all in this together!
Lack of Ability to Work From Home
Lack of childcare whether that be school or daycare creates the need for a parent or guardian to be home with the kids when they are normally at work.
Taking care of our families is a priority and businesses are adjusting to allow their employees to do just that during this uncertain time. Business leaders are looking for opportunities to allow flexibility to their staff. Is there the ability to go to three-shift days? What about shortening shifts or starting two hours earlier so workers can get home in time to take care of the kids while the other parent or guardian goes to work?
While some businesses are able to close “for the season” or take a hiatus when their workers can’t perform their job duties from home, some companies are considered essential businesses and are trying to keep employees on the job and safe. There are many employees calling in due to health concerns.
Companies are looking for ways to make their employees feel more comfortable by limiting contact and providing additional deep cleanings. Others are limiting the number of staff in locations with a more rotational schedule or an extra day off a week. There are a few businesses providing a small temporary increase in pay (“pandemic pay”) for the riskier conditions their employees are now asked to adapt to.
Consider how you can redefine the workday for your associates. Running a leaner business isn’t about just doing more with less, it can also provide opportunities to improve culture and avoid unproven strategies and investments.
For more information about what companies like yours are experiencing and how they solve for challenges associated with the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 Trends page and we’ll keep you up-to-date on what we are seeing.