Employers should be aware of impacts faced by employees who are still adjusting to changes in the workplace due to COVID-19. Changes in workplace structures as a result of COVID-19 are being referred to as “hybrid” workplaces, meaning that the workplace has different physical arrangements, different scheduling and communications, for example. Employers must understand the difficulties for employees adjusting to workplace changes.
While many adjustments are necessary for the health and safety of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, an important consideration for employers is to understand the toll it can take on employees, especially their motivation to remain engaged on a daily basis.
While it is important for employers to recognize the impact of COVID-19 changes on employees, it is also important for employers to realize the impact it is had on themselves, as everyone is affected by COVID-19 changes in the workplace and having to readjust work processes. Employers should maintain an open-minded approach when adjusting to workplace changes or even maintaining workplace changes, as it can effect everyone differently.
Ensuring strong employee communications is an integral part of maintaining employee morale during the shift of workplace changes, including where distanced workspaces and alternative scheduling is present. The following tips provide methods in which employers can utilize to engage employees during new changes in the workplace:
- For employees who face scheduling changes, include the employee in the conversation when forming their schedule to ensure they are comfortable and able to make the adjustment
- For employees working from home, ensure consistent communication is kept with employees and be as understanding as possible that the transition to working from home can at times be overwhelming
- Where employees are distanced from others physically in the workplace, consider incorporating COVID-safe activities such as an online event or online meetings to socialize with others