Saying that 2020 was a unique year feels like a massive understatement. COVID-19 shook the world, fundamentally altering the day-to-day lives – both personal and professional – of nearly everyone.
As the pandemic unfolded, companies learned a variety of workplace lessons. Here’s a look at what businesses discovered during 2020.
Sick Leave Doesn’t Just Benefit Employees
Before COVID-19, sick leave was often viewed as a benefit that only helped employees. However, the pandemic highlighted how important it could be to overall operations.
Without sick leave, some employees can’t afford to miss work. As a result, they come in as scheduled, a move that ultimately increases the odds that other workers will fall ill.
When that happens, entire teams can get sick. Not only is this a health issue, but it also harms productivity and morale. That’s why offering paid sick leave is so vital. It ensures that your workforce can care for themselves while also protecting other employees and company operations.
Remote Work Is an Effective Option
Many companies resisted the idea of having a remote workforce before COVID-19 struck. They assumed that productivity would fall and that employees wouldn’t meet expectations if they weren’t directly overseen.
In many cases, that isn’t what happened when employees had to be sent home in response to the pandemic. Many workers remained fully productive. Plus, work-life balance was easier to achieve, thanks to eliminating commutes and the flexibility telecommuting arrangements can provide.
Telework is likely to remain part of the paradigm, potentially forever. Not only can it benefit companies, reducing costs while supporting full productivity, but it’s also good for many professionals.
Having a Plan Is a Must
Companies that planned for the unexpected often weathered the initial pandemic storm better than businesses that weren’t ready for an emergency. Whether planning meant having contingency funds set aside, implementing tech solutions in advance that could support remote access and telecommuting, or anything else, organizations that embraced disaster preparedness were largely better off.
Today’s companies can’t ignore the fact that the unexpected can happen. Planning needs to be the norm, ensuring emergency responses can be handled with care and diligence, even when time is short.
Employee Wellness Has to Be a Priority
While many professionals remained highly productive during the pandemic, mental health concerns also rose. Navigating life post-COVID-19 has been stressful. Fears about staying healthy and concern for loved ones took a toll. Similarly, households with children who were suddenly learning from home experienced significant challenges, trying to find balance in an odd world.
Ultimately, this showcased how critical employee wellness needs to be with employers. Learning the signs of a worker in distress is a must and having action plans to assist those who are struggling. That way, the employee can be nurtured and supported, allowing them to regain their footing and, hopefully, thrive.
If you’d like to learn more about the biggest workplace lessons from 2020, the team at TempStaff can help. Contact us today.