The country-wide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to another syndrome that is plaguing professionals working from home. We call it the WFH syndrome. This syndrome has one major cause – staying with your family 24X7.
We all love our families but staying with them all day long is taking the joy away from spending time with them. Let’s be honest! It’s driving us up the proverbial wall, especially during working hours. We have all had situations where our children needed a fight refereed during an all-important client call, or a colleague was made privy to our spouse’s agenda for the day, or someone thought that a review call was the right time to disconnect the Wi-Fi to connect their phone charger. Scenarios such as these can put you off your game.
During workhours, you need to be able to think and concentrate on your work. Here are a few simple rules to help you maintain your sanity, during working hours at least.
Rule # 1 Put that remote down.
Ask the rest of your family to watch TV on mute or while wearing headphones. Or they could just read a book, paint, knit, or use their mobile phone.
Rule # 2 Mark your territory!
Create an office for yourself within your home. Let your family know that they cannot enter this space during working hours unless it is an emergency. Make sure you clearly define what constitutes an emergency.
Rule # 3 No food/beverage around your workstation
Step away from your workstation for your meals. Besides the fact that it is a healthy habit, it also protects the gadgets that you need for work. You don’t want to be spilling orange juice on your laptop or on the expensive headphones you just invested in.
Rule # 4 36-inch!
Maintain a minimum distance of 3 feet between two people working from the same house. Have two separate tables or create two different work corners. That should ensure that your colleagues aren’t apprised of your spouse’s meeting agenda.
Rule # 5 Do Not Disturb
During this time, your pets and kids will need your time and attention too. Put down clear rules on acceptable behaviour so that your productivity is not negatively impacted. Train your kids, partner, pets, and parents to be self-sufficient and to occupy themselves. Ensure you spend quality time with them outside office hours.
Rule # 6 Dress up
Dress up like you are going to work. This will put in the right frame of mind. Don’t start working in your shorts and tees (unless that’s how you go to work). Also, you aren’t fooling anyone! It is evident that you are wearing a formal jacket on your regular-wear t-shirt.
Rule # 7 Find the spot
Set up your workstation where the Wi-Fi connection works best. Also, have a backup plan – a dongle, mobile hotspot, etc. – just in case you need it.
The WHO is asking all of us to sanitise your hands, home, surroundings. Likewise, you need to have a plan for mental sanitisation too to avoid side effects of your WFH syndrome.
Employees today, are not just looking for companies that provide salaries and perks. They want organizations that provide engagement and promote general wellness. They are looking for jobs that help them strike a good work-life balance. As a result, HR fast needs to become an employee’s friend rather than a guardian, as it has traditionally been. This transition is not going to be easy.
Employers today already face the daunting task of transition towards a digital economy that is transforming businesses as well as their traditional HR functions. Adapting to new technologies is one of the major trends that will be visible across HR in the workplace during 2019.
A recent survey of 1200 global executives conducted by KPMG International highlights the inertia that a segment of HR managers display. On the one hand, there are forward-looking managers who are constantly harnessing resources to redefine contribution of the HR model to any enterprise. They are implementing technologies such as Digital Labour, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Analytics. On the other hand, a larger segment of less confident HR managers are playing the waiting game, or are simply remaining quiet about this change in the digital landscape.
Some of the expected HR trends for 2019 and the foreseeable future, that HR professionals need to be aware of, are listed here-
Employee performance managed by managers
The organization will benefit from performance management lying in the hands of managers, as opposed to HR stepping into the workflow. The role of providing feedback will belong to the manager, and as a result of this, even poor performance will be addressed quickly and turned around faster. HR needs to be a department of productivity enablers and this change will allow the function to concentrate on becoming that.
Higher access to analytics for employees
Members of the C-Suite will have greater access to people insights and analytics than in previous years. Organizations will look to implement robust HR platforms that are user-friendly and can provide strong people analytics trends that will assist in decision-making. The C-Suite will naturally make better decisions with the help of key people analytics and hiring statistics.
Rise of the ‘remote’ workforce
A rising segment of employees today prefer to work out of remote locations instead of the office. This has entirely been made possible through recent development in technology. About half of the US workforce is expected to be freelancing, in some capacity, by 2020. HR departments will be able to use this trend to their advantage. Instead of hiring full-time employees, they should explore teams of talented freelancers and independent contractors, thereby building trust on a project-to-project basis.
Rise of micro-learning
Most adults start losing attention within as little as ten minutes and is likely to go down further. To meaningfully engage and train learners with such low attention spans, HR departments need to design training sessions that are short and impact-based, rather than long ones. More frequent and shorter training sessions will be more beneficial at workplaces. Micro-learning, as a result, will rise further as the industry norm.
Extensive use of VR, AR, game, and video
Both AR and VR are helpful during training and recruitment. A gamified application experience can be created for the recruitment of candidates, as is done by Jaguar and Land Rover. Collaborating with the band Gorillaz, they create a real setting, allowing candidates to see and experience iconic cars from these manufacturers. This is followed up with a series of puzzles that enable candidates to move forward.
In 2019, HR managers will need to plan systematically, instead of moving rapidly. This will help prevent badly created applications which may frustrate users. AI and Analytics will be able to touch every sphere they operate in, from employee engagement to recruitment and performance management. The year 2019 is likely to be the one when people analytics will finally be able to demonstrate its true potential.
This article was first published on stoodnt