How the pandemic and remote working have affected well-being at work?
The Covid-19 pandemic health crisis brought about major repercussions in the business world. In addition to its economic impact, it has led to significant changes in the way companies operate and, consequently, in well-being at work. In the face of successive lockdowns, we have witnessed an acceleration in the digital transformation. Remote working, or working from home, has emerged as the most appropriate response to this new reality. This upheaval in the way companies operate has changed the daily lives of employees, who must now reconcile their professional commitments with their private life. So what is the new set of skills a manager needs to lead the shift in the post-Covid era?
A forced shift to remote working
In less than a year, the working population has quickly converted to remote working. Even the most reluctant employers have had no choice but to accept this new form of organization in order to preserve the continuity of the activity while respecting the national protocol on health and safety of employees in the workplace.
A Harris Interactive survey conducted on behalf of the French government found that 78% of working people were working from home as of mid-April 2021. Also, more than five million people were working remotely during the first lockdown.
These lockdowns and homeworking episodes have prompted companies to draw a number of lessons. Firstly, working remotely is a viable option for some industries. But this transformation requires determining the actions to be taken and the conditions for success in managing remote working.
Well-being at work remains a major issue
The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of well-being at work as a critical success factor. While working in your comfort zone can have advantages, it is also a challenge for employees who lack the proper working conditions at home. Indeed, employees had to deal with an unprecedented situation and needed support in order to overcome their doubts and to adhere to new work organizations without affecting their productivity, motivation or even their mental health!
Another issue raised by the ongoing crisis was the lack of meaning at work due to the absence of human contact and interaction. HR departments had to mobilize in a rush to provide support to employees in this unprecedented situation.
Managers are now expected to lead the change within their teams and involve every employee in this shift in work organization. They must also act tactfully to overcome resistance to change and address legitimate concerns. Managers must identify and understand the psychological strengths of each individual in order to successfully implement the transformations imposed by the pandemic.
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