Do you still remember that feeling of getting a WFH (Work From Home) pre-pandemic? Wonderful, wasn’t it? So now as we all are stuck at home because of the lockdown, you all must be feeling great to get WFH every single day. Wait, did you just say no?
Well, it’s not you alone. The majority of employees around the globe feel the same, they can’t wait any longer to get back to their office chairs. So what’s the reason the very same thing that used to make us feel like we were on top of the world is now the very reason for our discontent and stress?
Lucky for you because in this article we’ll try to analyze the toll this extended WFH is taking on employees around the globe. We’re also gonna talk about the steps that the companies may take to make their employees feel much at ease.
So without any further adieu, let’s begin.
Challenges & Solutions
We’re not gonna lie but this extended WFH is just too much to handle. It feels like it has taken the very essence of WFH, you know the “chills” we used to feel. However, to say that this extended WFH is stressful just because it’s for a prolonged period would do no justice to it as well as to the time of our readers who are reading this.
After interacting with our team during this lockdown, we got to know several things and once we did research on that, we realized that this is the challenge that most of the employees around the world are facing too.
Though there are many but because we don’t want to bore you to death, we have taken 5 major pain points, and what the employees & employers can do about that.
- Guilt of not being productive: This is the biggest & foremost reason for the dissatisfaction among the employees around the globe during this pandemic. Since this pandemic has thrown the regular office routine under the bus, many employees don’t feel productive at the end of the day even after accomplishing all their daily tasks. To compensate for this, the employees are overstressing themselves with workload just to get that feeling of satisfaction.
Solution: The best way to overcome this guilt is to maintain a journal where you keep the records of things that you did each day. By jotting down the tasks you had and how you accomplished them will give you a sense of accomplishment and you can leverage on that momentum to accomplish tomorrow’s tasks. Keep doing that you’ll actually start seeing results in no time.
- Lack of Social Interaction: For many people doing 9 to 6 (the normal working hours in India), the office was the only place for social interaction. Being stripped of that only social interaction could lead to the risk of many mental health issues like chronic stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
Solution: Here the employers need to take the initiative and should fix a portion of working hours for team meets. Daily interactions can ease off the burden that you have bottled up. Also, if you’re feeling burdened, make a video call to your office buddy and a 5 min interaction would be sufficient to lighten up your mood.
- Communication Challenges: So the pre-pandemic WFH and WFH amid pandemic are 2 completely different stories. In the former, it was only you who were in WFH and the rest were present in the office. This used to reduce the possibility of the communication gap getting wider and ensured a more-or-less smooth transition of thoughts & communication.
However, in the latter, everyone is working from home and this relatively widens up that communication gap.
Solution: Here, employers need to understand the power of WhatsApp groups or other sources of open communication. In our company, we have introduced a task manager where anyone can see the tasks that everyone has.
Also, we have ensured that everyone in the office is on a single WhatsApp group so there could be a smooth flow of communication.
- Motivational Challenges: This comes because of the fact that there’s no one to monitor you in person. This could arise 2 situations- either Procrastination or the feeling of being unnoticed.
The reason for Procrastination is obvious. Many believe that no one is gonna notice their afternoon nap or extended gaming sessions. There are many employees that spend half of their office hours watching shows and the remaining half on rushing into things. This results in a poor quality of outcome and decreased productivity.
On the flip side, there are many who are depressed because they think that there is no one to notice their work. And in these times of uncertainty, they think the employers might lay them off because their work is not getting highlighted.
Solution: Though they both are different problems, the solution is the same for both of them- Regular Supervision. Supervisors need to understand that appreciating someone for their performance is as important as it is to confront someone who they find procrastinating or not being fulfilling their KPI’s
- Work-life balance: This extended WFH has diminished the boundary between work-life and social life. In the absence of a defined routine, many are struggling to find their identity.
Let’s understand this in a much more simple manner. Earlier we had our social life and our work life, and both of them demanded a different version of us. Now as the distinction has faded, so have the roles that we were playing. This feels like we are deprived of our identity.
Solution: It’s time to set the boundaries again. Get out of your pajamas & bed, and get dressed for your shift. Having a dedicated workspace at your home will add to it. Moreover, you can try things that you have always wanted to do but couldn’t because of time constraints. This will really help you to feel connected to yourself and improve your perspective on things.