The COVID-19 pandemic has shoved family life and work life under one roof. Businesses were left with no choice but to implement short term changes during the crisis in order to keep up with production while keeping employees safe.
Organizations are adapting to working in more flexible ways, distributing remote teams and staggering staff. Although the idea of working remotely might have been a big transition for some, what many have learned from the experience is they have the ability to design their life.
Working parents are able to arrange so they can homeschool their children. Employees can finish work earlier so they make it to the dinner table on time. Work-life balance can sometimes be an empty promise, but post COVID-19 we might be headed in a new direction of a flexible work-life balance.
Here is a look at what the workforce might look like post COVID-19.
Redefining The “Ideal Worker”
For decades, organizations were building a model of what the “ideal worker” looks like. He/she been portrayed by actions such as staying late at the office, putting in long hours, being available 24/7, not wanting to take a vacation.
This kind of behavior was viewed as dedicated, the “ideal worker.” Employees feel pressure to keep up with tasks and not ease up because it could cost them that promotion, that raise, the reputation. If this is what’s shaping the workforce, is it working?
Organizations should seize the opportunity that the Coronavirus left on the table, and that’s a more realistic and flexible work environment.
Set By Example
Work-life balance is a buzz word in the workplace, but if you really want to make it a priority there has to be a shift in culture. Those changes can’t be tasks for HR to figure out, it needs to come from example.
Leaders need to drive change from the top. If the executive team is at their desks until 8pm without so much as a coffee break all day, that mindset and behavior will trickle down the executive ladder.
Instead, there is an opportunity now to encourage staff to take a mental health day, allow flexible office hours, and work from home arrangements.
Leave Room For Individualism
It is important for organizations to be clear about the company culture they are defining. Setting expectations and enforcing them is crucial so that employees know what’s expected, but it’s up to the employee to manage how and when they do it in their own individual way.
Work-life balance isn’t just encouraging employees to take time off, but rather giving them more time to themselves while improving balanced behaviors.
An employee might leave work at 4pm to have dinner with their family and then clear out his inbox before bed. Work-life balance should focus on quality work vs. quantity.
Be Part Of The Change
In a time of crisis, it’s clear that employees need to have the flexibility to tend to their family’s responsibilities. While working from home has become a necessity during the Coronavirus pandemic, it could be the key to employee satisfaction in the long run.
Take a look at what your employees need from your organization to be successful, not only now but in the future.