If you are an employer, you have heard this, or you are going to start hearing as more businesses open their doors. Due to Covid-19, the world has shifted once again. Countries went into lockdown, causing mass businesses to shut down. Families all over the world took shelter in the comfort of their homes.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is my opinion alone as an employer. This is not intended to be judgmental but to point out an issue and possible solution to a rising problem most companies about to face. Read at your own risk!
Some businesses migrated to work from home model right away. Others took time to adopt the idea. Remote employees enjoyed long family time and still fulfill job duties from their 'home office'.
We all knew lockdown will end one day and life, as we knew it before, would be back to normal. Those days are fast approaching, and the hidden hard truth is coming to light. People are finding out that they love their spouses, children more than they do their colleagues.
Is it a bad thing? Of course not! It is time that employees around the world realize at the end of the day, Family is what matters! We all know so many people lost their jobs due to Covid-19. Mass businesses shut down or downsizing to reduce costs occurred across the globe. Know anyone who worked at a company for a decade and was let go without a thought of his or her family? What did the employee gain by giving up their days of hard work and be away from their families? A small paycheque. What did they lose? Their precious time with their family, seeing their kids grow.
This is not to say employers should have kept all their employees despite the loss occurring every single day. For businesses where physical location is a must without any option to do remote work, they just did not have the choice but to let their employees go. But I am talking about businesses where work could be done from home but still let people go instead of embracing the change.
The businesses which did go to remote work mindset, also realized a hidden fact, the enormous saving. No employees on-site, no utility cost, no liability cost. For some businesses, the saving is much. A lot of employees are willing to take a small pay cut to be able to work from home. More company savings there. In fact, with all these savings, few forward-thinking businesses can pass those to their employees to keep them happy.
So, if there are big advantages, what is the problem? Why is it an issue if the employee does not want to come back to the workplace? Well, it is only an issue for businesses who like to keep a tab on their employees at all times during their work schedule. In their mind, as long as the employee is present physically, they are working hard. The same employer is oblivious of all the water cooler gossip that takes place at the company's expense. They don't see John or Jane going around the room to room sharing the issue they had yesterday with their neighbour or frustration with how Bob just got promoted for no good reason. We all know these issues or workplace politics. This drains the employees who are trying to get their job done on time. It is difficult to say go away, you are busy.
What about the commute employees has to endure twice a day? Who can say they enjoy a long, jam-packed commute every day? For some people, these are 4 to 5 hours ordeal to get to work and back home. You can argue, employees should turn those commute time to university on wheels by listening to self-development audiobooks. But still, the fact is that's a lot of wasted hours.
Those extra hours now allow the employees not just to make breakfast but sit down with the family to have it too. A happy, relaxed employee is actually more productive than one who has to wake up very early to get ready. These are the truths employees around the globe have discovered and why they are willing to fight for them.
I myself an employer. Here at Symmcom Inc. we always valued our employees and the time they put in. Since 2017, we have been pushing Remote Virtual Desktop service to allow companies to seamlessly work remotely or in a hybrid fashion. All our employees 100% work remotely. In fact, we went a step further, no one has fixed hours of work. So long they are completing assigned work, they are free to do whatever. Everyone works on a trust basis. Other than the assigned work checks, no one is looking over their shoulder. The only catch in this, they do have an increased workload. We probably work twice as much compared to similar businesses. But, it does not matter to most since they get to be with their families.
Because of this model, Covid-19 did not hit us at all as far as migrating to remote work. Our work-life continued as usual, and we were able to put all our focus on serving the customers who were affected by Covid-19. We served them with great quality since we did not have to worry about our own workplace.
If you are an employer who is fighting this change, maybe step back a little and give it a good thought. Do you really need to control your employee? Can they fulfill their job just as well from home? Are you keeping your lights on just for the sake of staying physical? These are some of the questions which can help to narrow down the real need. This shift is not easy. For some businesses, it will never happen because of the nature of the business. But if your business can function with those loving fathers or mothers from home, why not let them.
I am excited about those businesses who were quick to migrate to remote work and willing to work with employees to give them options. The company does not need to 100% remote. They can meet with employees twice a month or once a week for team building. With all the cost-saving, why not do your monthly meeting at an arena, or restaurant or ballroom gathering. Employees can mingle with each other face to face. After seeing their faces on Zoom throughout the week, they will appreciate face-to-face interaction once in a while. Trust me on this one!