The pandemic has changed the way that we work, and companies are now becoming increasingly concerned about employee productivity. According to Cheddar, 2022 saw the biggest drop in productivity in the history of the United States. A big shock, since it soared so highly during the lockdown periods, and one that has employers questioning what the best environment for productivity is in the future of work after Covid.
There are a number of potential reasons for this downward trajectory. One is the rise of remote working, which has resulted in many not feeling so positive about returning to the office. The other possibility is that many people are experiencing burnout, poor mental health, and stress related to post-pandemic uncertainty. In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways that you can address these issues, increase office morale, and become more productive than ever.
Clearly, it doesn’t need to be stated, but the benefits of a high level of productivity are endless. It encourages an increased quality of work, improved employee engagement, and higher morale. Therefore, it’s understandable why companies are making workplace changes after Covid.
A productive team with low morale might be able to make things happen, but at what cost? Over time, your staff retention is going to drop, and you could end up getting bad PR. So let’s look at some ways to increase productivity through understanding and catering to people’s needs. If you solve your staff’s problems, they will be motivated to solve yours.
The future of remote work after Covid, as well as that of in-person work, should include striving toward a culture of trust and understanding. Communication is key. This means that there should be no taboo on discussing issues or concerns that employees may have. They should be able to address these with their managers and employers.
Obviously, not everybody wants to talk openly about personal issues. That staff feel able to, and for it to be welcomed, provides an atmosphere of acceptance. And to all those who don’t want to share openly, that should be a part of your culture too. The end result is that everybody feels they can decompress in a safe environment, which alleviates the stress that hinders workflow.
Every employee has different needs and preferences, so be mindful of this by offering flexibility when possible. For instance, some employees prefer to work remotely, while others are more inclined to come into the office. Conversely, some people like the work-life balance that hybrid arrangements bring.
The objective should be to bring the benefits of the Covid workplace (such as remote or hybrid working) forwards to a post-pandemic work environment. Whatever allows an employee to perform at their personal best should be the goal. If they are comfortable and in the right zone, then they will turn out great results. In fact, having a one-size fits all mentality can actually work against individual productivity.
Throughout and after the pandemic, people have become used to remote and hybrid working. The key to productivity is continuity. We touched on it above, but it’s relevant to the larger point of the work-life balance. According to Zippia, 83% of workers say that job burnout affects their personal relationships. We’ve all experienced this at one point or another. As employers, one of our objectives should be to empathize with this and give our staff the flexibility that they deserve. Doing so addresses the issue and creates a culture of trust and understanding, which ultimately leads to increated morale and consequently, higher productivity levels.
You can even lift some of the burdens off of their shoulders. Providing recurring lunches for the whole team removes one chore from their daily schedules. All you need is an effective platform like Ritual for Companies to allow your employees to order lunch from hundreds of local restaurants. This is a key concept that will be prevalent in the future of work trends in 2023.
Incentives are great for productivity. Whether it’s mentioning somebody’s achievement in a staff meeting, or extra time off, they give staff something to work towards. All rewards are incentives, but some are more motivating than others. A half-day of extra time gives your staff members extrinsic motivation and allows them to choose what to do with the reward.
As a leader in your organization, it’s up to you to figure out what is viable for your office, but these collective efforts are certain to create a buzz that will lead to all sorts of results.
Nothing boosts morale (and subsequently productivity) like a fun staff event. This could be an informal gathering, a themed office day, or a company-provided food extravaganza. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of the office is the important thing. Do so regularly, and the team is more likely to stick together and get stuff done. Building camaraderie around fun rituals creates a sense of community that bolsters everyone’s attitudes and gives purpose, all of which increases motivation for productivity.
The bottom line is that in order to get more from your employees, you have to give them something in return. This is the best chance of meeting them in the middle. But implementing one or two, or even multiple options, is sure to boost morale and let all your deserving staff know they are valued and are working for a great company.
One of the most tangible and immediate options that you could arrange for next week is a provided lunchtime meal. Through Ritual for Companies, you can boost employee engagement and productivity through recurring lunches. This will jumpstart post-pandemic productivity in your office like never before.