The breakout of COVID 19 and the consequent lockdown has forced organisations to switch to a WFH mode. While working from home can be great occasionally, mandated WFH can be demoralizing, especially in these times of social distancing where there is no other avenue for people to socialize.
Fortunately, quite a few organizations have been quick to understand and appreciate the boredom that might come from this scenario. Providing the right kind of experience to inspire their employees has become a priority for them. And since the organization and the employees are not physically connected anymore, technology is the savior!
Cloud meeting software – While it’s fine to work on your own but communicating in/with the team is a must for a lot of projects, understanding requirements, providing feedback and discussing the road ahead. Reaching out to clients is also necessary. In the absence of face-to-face discussion, cloud conferencing software like MS Teams, Zoom, Skype etc offer a much-needed respite. Seeing the team members onscreen, checking out their work directly and some casual banter provides a virtual office environment and helps reduce the monotony of working alone in a room.
Shared storage space – This is an absolute must since it’s not possible to keep mailing files all the time. Shared access to a cloud-based storage space where all information can be uploaded, edited and downloaded helps in configuration management of documents. It also helps understand the status of any project real time.
Virtual breaks – The major draw of a workplace is the socializing over a coffee break or a post-lunch walk. These short breaks are the ones that transform formal working relationships into lifelong friendships. Sitting at a desk and working the entire day, employees will sorely miss the camaraderie. Taking breaks at the same time and getting on a videocall to chat can be a stress buster. Customised software that enables employees to share their tea and coffee breaks in a virtual atmosphere is also a welcome tool.
Virtual collaboration tools – Most workplaces today have a town hall design that helps employees to move around with ease; working, communicating and even having meals in the office cafeteria. This helps employees to connect and collaborate better. To ensure that employees can still enjoy a similar kind of feeling, virtual collaboration tools can be employed. Such innovative tools help employees to informally chat with one another at any time they want, to make them feel part of a group again.
While it’s true that a virtual world cannot compensate for all the pleasures of a real world, for the next few weeks while the entire country is on lockdown mode, technology is perhaps the only thing that will keep people connected. The only drawback - employees might get too used to the advantages of WFH with the help of technology, hoping that it will become the new normal!
Does your organisation support you in maintaining work-life boundaries?
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