Uncertainty and major changes during the global pandemic have an impact on the productivity and performance efficiency of employees worldwide. Employees combating against COVID-19 through remote working, are in gain or loss?
Sudden and unpredictable pandemic has impacted all employees as the result of remote working. Working from home is a better and good way to analyze the overall productivity and performance meter for those working in the last 3-4 months. COVID-19 has impacted all aspects of our daily lives including human productivity and performance. COVID-19 forced a shift in the level of activities, routine, and our day to day schedules. People are forced to work at home with tools for their balanced productivity. Almost all big and small companies have plans for their employees to work remotely with all facilities and accessories essentials for working. Some US-based companies have announced a plan for their employees to work from home for a year. Some other entities might allow their employees to work remotely as a permanent solution to fight COVID-19. This could be a possibility as we are in transition to a cloud-based work environment.
To fight against major spread viruses, we all have taken a step to work from home as a positive move. However, some studies also show the impact remote work has brought to our lives. Social distancing, isolation, employment uncertainty, unproductive work from home, long working hours, stressful remote working have made it difficult for the health of employees all over the world. We all are now well versed with the new normal thing – work from home and its increasing adaptability everywhere in every profession. But how it is affecting our daily productivity and performance? And how we can evolve without compromising on our health and well-being?
If we look for the disadvantage most employees are facing during remote work is the impact on mental health that pandemic has created worldwide. Studies show that 40% of people agreed that their mental health has decreased due to COVID-19 breakout. People have experienced stress and anxiety during a pandemic. Fear to work at the workplace and to go outside home for work has increased among people with the increase of COVID-19 cases every day.
Employees are losing work-life balance in the quarantine phase by working more hours than usual standard working hours they used while working in an office. The number of meetings has increased; cyber-security is less at home than working in the office. A maximum number of calls in a day leads to exhaustion for an employee. Fear of calls and video calls hack is the concern for most of the employees.
An increased number of meetings leaves employees exhausted and it shows no result on the productivity in actual work. Performance pressure and stress push employees into competitive mode. Lack of communication in online calls due to unwanted noise or unreliable internet connection or lack of electricity in some areas and poor audio quality leaves communication off-track in meetings.
In some cases, where real meeting with a client or employees is an important virtual meeting result in less impact on the result. Unless government lift lockdown and social distancing virtual meet is the only alternate for companies.
On the other side of the coin, if we count on the good notes of remote work reports says that employees are able to find time to work on other projects along with their work. People are staying productive at home by engaging themselves in learning new skills during the pandemic. Length of productivity is increasing by contributing time in other useful skills even if its for cooking, or learning a new programming language or soft skills.
Despite some negative effects of working remotely, employees have a positive working experience. Penalties for late coming to the workplace has no space in remote work. Some employees are enjoying the privilege of working from home than wasting their time traveling to the workplace. Employers are more concerned with employee’s safety and well being which builds a positive environment and effective employee performance.
Employees are reported to work more effectively working from home with health and safety measures. They are able to pay attention to their family members especially those who are younger and old-age members. Though, it's difficult for parents with young children to work from home as their efficiency may suffer.
Companies moving towards virtual organizations were working from home is the future and physical workplaces are limited. New ventures and setup costs for entrepreneurs reduced by switching remote working for their workers. Those who are starting their ventures during pandemic they will find it easy with less capital investment.
Companies are showing empathy with their staff. Employers are taking preventive measures for the well being and health of their employees around the workplace and even during remote work. Employees feel that their employers are concerned with the health and safety of their team and for employee’s families as well.
Employees feel supported by their managers and appreciate the measures companies are taking in handling pandemic conditions. The performance of employees is dependent on the employer’s behavioral approach. Employers as a leader boost morale and performance during the pandemic condition.
Conclusion: There are many complex situations employers and employees are facing handling the COVID-19 impacts worldwide. The benefits of working from home and negative outcomes both can be complex but have shown that with the plan and correct procedure laid by companies we can survive.
We have already been lifted from the great recession period of 2008 successfully. Organizations worldwide and governments are guiding citizens to overcome the global pandemic. Performance and productivity both can go hand in hand with the right plan in monitoring and guidance by employers.