How Employee Relations Have Changed Due To COVID19

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The economy and the business sectors have taken a huge brunt from the disruption caused by the global pandemic. In order to better maintain the situation, countries have imposed safety measures to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus. This includes the shutdowns of numerous sectors and the implementation of working from home. This new norm has effectively changed the relationship between employers and employees by transforming the way each party communicate and interact.

Businesses should note that such practices will not go away once the curve has been flattened. Apart from the potential prolonged circuit breaker measures, the practice of working from home has opened up the possibility of setting a more flexible working arrangement as the new norm. Thus, it’ll be wise to look at how the interaction between the different departments has changed over a few months to see how to best move forward.

Human Resource

With the disassociation caused by the increased physical distance, many HR officials will now have a hard time trying to communicate and relay the company’s stance on the COVID19 situation. Companies aren’t able to communicate with their staffs face-to-face, and this alone makes it hard for proper discussion or conversation to take place, especially with all the feedback and opinions that need to be taken into consideration.

At its core, this disrupted mode of communication also makes it hard to sustain employee morale. Without physical proximity, team bonding activities or simple mingling are no longer possible. Unfortunately, digital interaction can never come close to the real thing. The lack of personal touch makes it hard for the team to bond and form deep relationships. Furthermore, by removing oneself from a social environment increases the possibility of one feeling isolated and even lonely. If it’s unchecked, it may easily affect one’s mental psyche and emotional state and this is the last thing you would want.

Employee Behaviour

The government has mandated that non-essential workers are to work from home. During its first implementation, many employees rejoiced as they no now longer need to spend time getting ready and commute to and from work. They could now use this extra time to decompress or spend more time bonding with their family. However, many have soon realised it may not be as easy as they thought it’d be

Space has always been a commodity, even more so now that our mobility has been restricted. The office space for lease allows for one to separate their public and private spheres, giving them space to truly focus on their work. However, now with the collapsing of responsibilities within the confines of your home, that line is now blurred. Many are forced to play out their societal roles concurrently; for instance, an office worker now has to also be a mother and a housewife all at the same time. This is not only distracting, but it can also be very overwhelming. Furthermore, not all homes are considered as safe spaces and one’s safety – physical, mental or emotional – may even be compromised. Thus, it’s essential to have regular checks with your staff and give them the tools to seek out help, if needed.

Management Behaviour

The current state of affairs has allowed the leaders at the management levels to display their leadership and decision making skills in new ways. One of the key elements that managers will need to keep in mind is the company’s morale. During such an anxiety-ridden crisis, giving motivation and recognition to your staff is more critical than ever. Luckily, with the various modes of virtual communication, this can be easily done.

On that note, take this opportunity to encourage workers to upskill through various online learning platforms. Courses can be subsidised or fully sponsored by the HR department to give the employees more incentives to learn new skill sets.

The COVID19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis that has effectively transformed the working space. Professional and personal relations are being tested, and each member of the company has to do their part to maintain business operations. Whilst it may be a rather rough journey, open and honest communication will give the company a fighting chance to survive the crisis.

As we anticipate the implementation of Phase 2 and 3 measures, Greenhub looks forward to providing you with a green and tranquil office for you to resume your business operations! These office spaces are designed with your comfort and mental wellness in mind, so that you can reach your optimal productivity level every single day. In the meantime, do remember to stay safe by practising good personal and respiratory hygiene.