The COVID-19 pandemic has altered most everyday practices, including how people do business. The virus redefined the employee-employer relationship since remote work has changed both sides’ primary needs and demands. Employers now practice comprehensive worker support and increased trust while the employees receive more autonomy but need more creativity and innovation than before the crisis.
The scholars created their first predictions soon after the COVID-19 outbreak, relying on the first known experiences and psychological theories. They concluded that a more inclusive and innovative workplace required reinvention instead of rearrangement. The most productive strategies presuppose reviewing how employers relate to the workers’ family relationships, time-management needs, and security from the viruses (de Lucas Ancillo et al., 2020, p. 2310). These recommendations are general but critical since they direct the managers towards the individuality-focused approach and massive changes to achieve it. Such measures are not easy to implement during a massive crisis when a single mistake can destroy months’ work. Balancing strict discipline and an understanding approach has always proven challenging, but the pandemic strained the leaders further. Nevertheless, practical business experts and corporation CEOs’ testimonies demonstrate that the scientists have created a constructive strategy.
Notably, the individuality-focused approach is not synonymous with a lack of regulations or laissez-faire leadership style. Instead, this technique focuses on reinventing the communication with employees, affecting their attitudes and engagement. Specifically, Harvard Business School expert Michael Beer asserts that employers will reshape organizational relationships into cultures relying on commitment and trust (Gerdeman, 2020, par. 3). This process is underway, since workers and their managers struggle to retain interpersonal connections via Zoom or Skype. Many people resort to joking and casual conversations while the bosses become more interested in how their subordinates feel working at home and what could help them feel better. Perhaps, many staff members miss the “coffee machine talks” and other offline activities, but most companies are adopting flexible schedules and the possibility to work from home for their everyday convenience.
Nevertheless, the managers are not the only people who must adapt, changing their behaviors on multiple levels. The workers also need to apply more effort to express their ideas online and increase their performance despite working from their homes’ comfort. Thus, stimulating and rewarding them is among the most recent management goals emerging from the pandemic. Specifically, employee benefits constitute the most recently discussed work aspect providing the resources to achieve this aim. Essentially, the virus has shifted the priorities because now everyday life and needs like child care define work, while the pre-pandemic model demanded employees’ adjustments (Allen, 2021, par. 8). Simply put, COVID-19 prompted the business leaders to rethink the “rewarding job” concept to include an individualized approach and support in life beyond the office tasks. This tendency will undoubtedly persist since it increases individual performance and commitment, yielding innovative outcomes.
In conclusion, COVID-19 taught employers to prioritize their workers’ needs while demanding a creativity upgrade from the employees. The virus has imposed flexibility and adaptivity, but it also prompted business leaders to support their subordinates without sacrificing discipline. Paradoxically, the companies that have included individual needs into tangible rewards have received increased productivity that might have been unachievable without a pandemic.
Allen, T. (2021). The pandemic is changing employee benefits. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 12 September 2021, from https://hbr.org/2021/04/the-pandemic-is-changing-employee-benefits.
de Lucas Ancillo, A., del Val Núñez, M., & Gavrila, S. (2020). Workplace change within the COVID-19 context: a grounded theory approach. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja, 34(1), 2297-2316. https://doi.org/10.1080/1331677x.2020.1862689
Gerdeman, D. (2020). How the coronavirus is already rewriting the future of business. Harvard Business School. Retrieved 12 September 2021, from https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/how-the-coronavirus-is-already-rewriting-the-future-of-business.