The year 2020 has changed a lot about how we work, relax, and shop. Many were worried that productivity levels would fall when employees started working from home, but some industries are seeing an increase in work completed.
Benefits of Working from Home
There are many benefits of working from home for employees who have a long or onerous commute. Additionally, office workers that used to spend time meeting a strict dress code have that time freed up as well. For some workers, this can mean hours back in their day for their use.
If your commute gives you back an hour a day of your life, you can enjoy more time with family, or take care of chores and errands that used to be pushed back to the weekend.
Additionally, breaks and lunches can be dedicated to meal planning, laundry and housework. Once done, evenings can be saved for shared family connections. Finally, working from home gives people the chance to schedule the toughest projects at points of peak productivity, not just from 8 to 5.
Challenges of Working from Home
It's important to remember that there are many people who need the conversation and connection that they get at the office. Whether it's just a cheery conversation about personal plans or the sharing of ideas with the group, if your office had a bullpen feel and people thrived on it, the isolation can be difficult.
Additionally, many workers who went home had an initial sense of crisis, so there are business leaders who fear burnout and an end to the productivity bump from the move home. However, some leaders are giving employees the option to enjoy flexible schedules or take one day a week off.
Protecting and Serving Clients
While employees may be more productive and enjoy the chance to do laundry over lunch, face to fact client contact has become more of a challenge in 2020. For those who work in industries that serve more vulnerable citizens, such as the elderly or the chronically ill, access to electronic communication is safest.
For those who need to meet face to face and mask to mask, professionals do have the chance to rent an office near the home of the client. For the safety of clients and workers alike, putting together a "meeting kit", including tools such as
- hand sanitizer
- sanitizing wipes
- face masks or shields
are an excellent investment in the well-being of both clients and employees. It's also critical to arrange meetings that require no more than the people who must attend to keep the client happy; those who can join electronically should be encouraged to do so.
The events impacted by COVID-19 continue to evolve as we react to them as a nation. From our schools to our stores to our houses of worship, many things have been altered. The workplace has had to undergo a radical shift to allow people and projects to move forward.