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Adapting to Remote Working During a Pandemic

30.05.21 04:03 PM By Linq HR

The morning alarm rings, you rush breakfast then head to work for your regular weekly 9 am team meeting. This is what many of us became accustomed to but expectations, relationships, and boundaries from this pre-pandemic world are now vastly different. 

Covid-19 has posed significant changes in many areas of our lives including for many working remotely is the new normal that we have had to adapt to.


Change is never easy. Change of any kind is generally seen as a stressor, it brings a lack of control, order, and the comfort of predictability. Covid-19 has displaced our ‘normal’ lives completely, and with social distancing regulations, work lives have dramatically changed too [1].


Working remotely may sound advantageous but is not always ideal when practiced and poses a unique set of challenges for HR professionals and business leaders to consider. While some prefer working remotely, such as from home, some are finding it difficult to adapt. 

Here we briefly explore some potential ramifications if the right levels of remote working support isn't provided and offer some interventions to consider.


Factors Affecting Turnover Intentions


Increased employee turnover can cost organisations millions in lost time and resources and is certainly a factor to be avoided. High career adaptability allows employees to adjust to major career changes effectively, the key distinction being whether employees are choosing to adapt to their current work situation or a new job.


A study conducted in April 2021 [2] found that when employees showed high career adaptability paired with high work social support, they showed lower turnover intentions. However, when employees showed high career adaptability and low work social support, they demonstrated higher turnover intentions. The risk of low work social support can be heightened during extended remote working arrangements and doesn’t come with any natural solution.


Providing Social Support


Increasing social support is paramount to boosting employee motivation, productivity, and job satisfaction. The two most important forms of social support have been identified as supervisor support and co-worker support [3]. 


Support from supervisors includes offering assignments that help employees build new skills, offering their time to assist employees in developing career goals, and providing access to training and performance feedback. Support from co-workers includes career guidance and information, training that facilitates skill development, and workplace friendships.


Social Support Whilst Working Remotely


Working remotely has removed a lot of social contact from our lives but there are still ways to implement social support online. Adapting how social support is provided may reduce work-related stress and increase career satisfaction [4].


Implementing regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings between employees and supervisors can allow a safe space for employees to share their concerns and be heard, giving  a chance to maintain relationships and provide the required support and feedback. Understanding the needs of a team can influence key training and work allocation decisions. Team brainstorming sessions, individual and group training can all take place online.


Encouraging non-work-related team activities online can be a great bonding exercise too, such as Friday happy hours, a group workout session, or games.


Focusing on implementing social support initiatives may prove to be the way forward in engaging employees and allowing them to feel supported through these uncertain times.


So finally, next time you decide to look for a new HR service provider then call Linq HR for assistance at 1300234566 or complete an online enquiry form and a Linq HR Broker will contact you.


Footnotes:


[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001879120300592 


[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278431921000189 


[3] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10869-009-9145-x 


[4] https://www.pwc.com/us/en/library/covid-19/how-to-stay-connected-working-remotely.html