With companies across the nation (and around the world) suddenly experiencing a forced work-from-home (WFH) experiment, employees and their managers have been thrust into the unknown.
Many have had to sharpen their skills on the fly. Some may have needed to tweak their presentation styles to accommodate a totally remote audience. Some needed to gain a quick mastery of telecommunications technologies, while others had to rethink the skills they need to avoid distractions and effectively manage their time.
Hopefully, employees will be bringing these and other skills back into the workplace once they return. We reached out to industry experts and employers to get their feedback on what skills they hope employees who return to the office from a long WFH stint will bring back with them.
WFH can be a challenge from a focus standpoint for many staff even in “normal” times. Many struggle to avoid the distractions that are present at home. Some struggle with staying on task without the presence of a manager or other team members. But obviously, these are not “normal” times.
In addition to the anxiety and health concerns many are dealing with as a result of the COVID-19 virus itself, many also are struggling to juggle work with child care and child education. The ability to stay focused is a key skill required for success in this environment and one that managers hope their employees bring back to the office with them when they return.
At the start of the pandemic, Makenzie Rath, President of Talent Plus, Inc., communicated to her staff that focus is perhaps the greatest challenge facing the organization. “Focus is perhaps our greatest challenge as business uncertainty and personal health concerns abound yet it is also one of the greatest gifts we can provide to those who rely on us as leaders and influencers to help them plan for tomorrow,” she says.
“With children out of school, social containment, working from home and disruptions all around, focus is the ultimate currency in this climate. How well we maintain that laser focus on helping those around us combat today’s seemingly insurmountable upheaval, while simultaneously thinking, acting and collaborating strategically to plan for the business climate of tomorrow, will determine our collective success moving forward.”
With the vast majority of staff at many companies working from home and faced with local stay-at-home orders, in-person interactions with colleagues have largely disappeared. Without the ability to say “hi” to coworkers in the hallway or break room, stop by someone’s office or workspace, or meet as a group for a post-work happy hour or softball game, the ability to develop and maintain personal relationships with coworkers is increasingly valuable.
Building and maintaining relationships in a remote workplace is something that requires more conscious effort than building those relationships when physically located in the same building or workspace as coworkers. This conscious effort itself represents an important skill that companies hope their employees will have developed and honed during their months of remote work.
One factor that sets companies with a track record of long-term success apart from their competitors is the ability to be flexible and adaptable. A company that has remained in business for 20, 50, or 100+ years couldn’t have made it without the ability to shift and adapt to changing circumstances, and that ability comes from its employees and managers…
Source: HR Daily Advisor