As the world navigates the unfamiliar waters of our current health crisis, companies and employees are flexing their adaptation muscles like never before. While rapid change and looming uncertainty can feel uncomfortable at best, it’s important to remember: all crises contain seeds of opportunity.
Worldwide physical distancing and isolation measures have moved everyone into a more digitized world nearly overnight. Many companies have completely shifted to teleworking, proving once and for all that teams can thrive without being tethered to the office at all times.
How will the newfound prominence of remote work shift the work landscape?
Once this crisis is over, some employers will likely start offering more flexibility when it comes to working from home. While some people will be itching to get back to the office, others will have preferred working remotely, making this an easy morale-boosting perk.
If a full day of working from home isn’t realistic, employers can give people the option to start the workday from home, then move to the office when there’s less traffic. There are so many more ways to incorporate mixed scheduling than we may have previously realized: personalized blends of at-home and in-office work provide nearly endless options, paving the way for unprecedented flexibility.
Here are some key concepts to consider as you craft your remote work policies:
- Loop employees into the decision-making process: Research shows that employee health, engagement, and satisfaction improves dramatically when they have a say in how and where they work.
- Put your team in the driver’s seat: Instead of breathing down your employees’ necks when they’re out of office, create a culture of trust where they can thrive on their own terms. That means letting them manage their time, and focusing on end results above everything else.
- Flatten your management structure: Let your team coordinate among themselves without acting like an ‘all-seeing eye.’ With the help of a few powerful online tools, it is absolutely possible for your team to cooperate from afar without running everything by the big boss.
Aside from day-to-day operations, the way companies arrange meetings between remote parties is sure to change. Given the economic hardship associated with COVID-19, many businesses will drastically reduce their reliance on fly-in/fly-out meetings (think Toronto to New York), taking them online instead. And with reduced business travel comes a knock-on benefit: reduced emissions.
Don’t just flatten the curve – stay ahead of it
The COVID-19 pandemic is also changing the way corporations and employees are approaching professional training and development, with many opting for online learning.
Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, cultivating a culture of learning and self-improvement shows employees that they are valued. What better way to prove that you support their current and future happiness?
Online learning offers many advantages that are not as readily available with traditional on-site programs. For starters, you can gather colleagues from different branches under the same digital roof, making it much easier to deliver information to dispersed teams without the risk of “broken telephone.”
The virtual classroom also provides the flexibility employees are looking for: private and small-group training sessions can be scheduled at times that suit them best, instead of a one-size-fits-all solution that’s dictated by boardroom availability.
Online learning is an easy way to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to workplace limitations – up to and including a global pandemic! Virtual training can happen anytime, anywhere, and is just as effective and dynamic as in-person training.
How can the online classroom help me support my team right now?
A number of industries have experienced a drop in demand for their products and services, which means many employees currently have fewer work responsibilities. That means it’s the perfect time for employers to ramp up their professional development initiatives, all of which require online training. Employees are sure to appreciate that their company is choosing to invest in them, and give them something meaningful to pursue during a stressful and challenging time.
CR/SL Virtual has nearly a decade of experience specializing in live online language training. Our team is committed to building tailored learning programs based on your industry and goals, and have helped many companies make the shift to online and blended learning across their entire organization.