The COVID pandemic revolutionised the way we work. With a so many businesses forced into lockdown, employers adapted to the remote working model. However, the transition to remote work was not easy for both employees and business owners. Many business leaders experienced difficulties overseeing their employees from home.
Tracking each employee’s progress, managing their leave, paying wages, and handling accounts & other management operations was too much to handle. However, with time, people learned the ins and outs of the remote or hybrid working model. Now, they are more comfortable working from home and reporting to the office periodically, instead of spending all day in the office five days a week.
By the time employees adapted to the remote work model, businesses had started returning to the office. Your employees may be facing all kinds of transitions at the moment: transitioning back to the office, transitioning to a permanent remote or hybrid work model, or transitioning to using new technologies.
No matter the transitions they’re facing, here’s how you can make transition easier for your team.
At the start of the pandemic, many employees were forced to rapidly switch to remote work.
This abrupt adjustment couldn’t be helped in the context of sudden lockdowns and other restrictions. However, with things largely back to normal, you can now give your employees the time they need to adjust to new changes.
If you’re asking your staff to transition back to the office, remember that work-from-home had become a new standard for employees. They felt comfortable working from the comfort of their couch. They also enjoyed the flexibility of choosing their own working hours. Therefore, the transition back to the routine and rules of the office could be tough.
Give your staff all the time they need to make this adjustment. If possible, you should also keep some of the parts of remote work they liked the most, such as setting their own schedule.
Adjusting to new technology can be tough, so you’re employees may need help doing so. Offer your staff the training they need and assign a mentor to new employees, or those learning new skills or technologies. This will give them a knowledgable mentor that will guide them when they have questions or face set backs.
Let’s say you have integrated a card payment system with your point-of-sale software. While a tech-savvy employee may know how to accept payments with card machines, not everyone is familiar with this type of payment technology. Conduct a training session where you introduce the card machines to your employees and teach them how the system works.
Transitioning can also difficult for employees who’ve recently been promoted. You can’t expect your workers to understand new responsibilities without proper training and support. Help you’re employees adapt to new responsibilities by being available to them whenever they need.
Any kind of transition can affect your employees’ physical and mental health. For example, transitioning back to working in the office be very confronting for any employee who got used to a flexible schedule and a remote work environment. There’s a chance your employees might not be as productive in the office as they were at home. So, let them have a say in how they’d like to work and what suits their needs.
Are they happy with the transition? If not, what other ideas do they have for how they’d like to work? You can find a middle ground. This could be a hybrid work model where employees report to the office once or twice a week while continuing work from home, which may be the best option for both the company and its employees.
Each company has its own unique requirements. Your business might not have the same working schedule as your competitors. It’s important to have a flexible transition plan to allow your team to adjust to their new routine.
It is equally important to understand that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in this situation. You need to have a plan that aligns with your culture, employees’ needs, and your business objectives. Make it clear that you will make changes to the plan if needed, and be responsive to your employees’ needs and how they may change as the transition rolls out.
Employee-centric transition plans have the best chance of success. The performance of your team is key to your business’ success, so it’s vital to prioritize their needs. A transition that benefits your organisation but compromises your team’s productivity and wellbeing will never work. So, it makes sense to consider your employees’ needs and take their feedback on board.
Transition is never easy, whether you are transitioning from the office to a remote work model, or from a traditional to a digital workplace. As exciting as change is, it brings a set of challenges for your team. Prioritise the needs of your employees and transition as easy for them as possible. Create a smooth transition plan and be ready to make adjustments as needed.