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We’ve gathered some insights from employers about how they’re tackling the Covid-19 crisis. Here’s what they’re saying – and the next steps we’re advising they take.
By Claire Campbell, Consultancy Director, Timewise
The current crisis has been described as ‘full-time work meeting full-time life’; a remote working experiment that we’re all having to work through. So how are employers supporting their employees during Covid-19 – and what should they do next?
I recently co-hosted a session for Timewise Partners, in which we explored how different companies are managing the status quo, and provided a mixture of short-term practical guidance and long-term issues to consider. Here are the highlights.
Among the insights we shared with our partners were these snapshots of workplace life during Covid-19:
Our attendees shared a number of examples of good practice from their organisations. These included:
Leadership and management
Changes to processes
Information and resources
Mental health and wellbeing
We also shared four core principles to help employers take the right next steps to support their employees:
(1) Think about WHAT people are doing
Assess what work needs doing, right now. Set priorities, new objectives and expectations for what needs to be done, before working out how to do it differently. Recognise the backdrop to people’s current working lives and consider the balance between the business’ needs and individuals’ needs.
(2) Think about WHERE people are working and how to support them
Consider providing enhanced broadband or a proper office chair. Create space for collaboration and engagement such as virtual team meetings and remote cafes, and check in on anyone who goes under the radar. Note what’s working and what isn’t to ensure you take the best examples with you into the long term.
(3) Think about WHEN work needs to be done and how that matches with people’s needs
Some people may be splitting childcare with a partner and so may need to have blocks of time off. Others may need to get ahead at the weekend to allow more breaks in the week. Build a framework that looks at your organisation’s needs and each individual’s needs to identify working patterns that will suit both parties.
(4) Think about HOW MUCH work needs doing and can be managed at the current time
Some employers need staff to reduce their hours to save costs; some employees need to work less to juggle their other commitments. In order to make this work, leaders need to either reduce the workload or find alternative resource. Expecting people to do the same work in less time isn’t a sustainable option.
We also shared our thoughts on the opportunities and risks coming out of Covid-19 and what employers need to do to mitigate the negatives and make the most of the positives.
As the situation continues, we’re keen to gather and share more stories about what’s working and what’s not, so more businesses are able to come out of Covid-19 into a more flexible future. If you have any insights to share, or need support from the Timewise team, do please get in touch.