Confinement poses a formidable question for company managers: the evolution already programmed by modern innovations in HR departments, which are already motivating employees to work in a dramatic epidemiological context.
Management will have to quickly make people working in HR departments aware of the evolution of certain professions with teleworking, which increasingly appears to be the only solution to the problem. In addition, it will also be necessary to take into account, with great acuity for the loyalty of employees, the multiple situations experienced between unemployment or not, recent redundancies, partial activity, and the situation in relation to the epidemic. Here, the ExComs will have to maintain staff motivation by maintaining contact and security to ensure a continuous plan of activity.
Impacts on the business in a context where teleworking appears to be the most convincing solution: towards new paradigms?
Management will have to adapt even more quickly than expected to generations whose relationship to work or tools may be radically different. Work is a source of fulfilment today and we are increasingly observing that the relationship to work, especially for younger people, has changed. Teleworking, for example, can be a problem as a good working atmosphere is essential and young people are no longer as committed to the company as they used to be. How can a good atmosphere be reproduced at a distance?
Moreover, today the number of entrepreneurs has exploded and individuals are also looking for independence, which is not easy to combine with the expectation of a good working atmosphere. Playful games and other coaching methods often pay off. HR will have to put the human being back at the center and move away from purely administrative aspects, which innovations such as artificial intelligence should make even easier. This is where the playful forms of teleworking come in, which we will develop in a future analysis.
But let us remember that one of the particularities of this teleworking is that it is generally undergone and not desired. This is no small matter. As teleworking is generally considered a good thing when it is chosen… Depending on the characteristics of the job, the activity will be more or less able to be carried out normally. Cognitive jobs, that are not very routine thanks to the use of technology, can continue to operate with a certain continuity. On the other scale, very manual and not very cognitive jobs will not be able to continue as before. It should be noted that, in addition to this, the employment prospects for certain occupations are not always favorable, since sections of automation will appear and the automation that threatens employment requires a rethinking of the method of remuneration or a 180° professional turn. This is not immediately the question, but it will have to be anticipated and from now on. We will develop these questions in a future article of this blog dedicated to the new paradigms of teleworking.
Impacts on the organization of work and the personal situations of employees: medium and long-term lessons for companies
Some companies can limit short-time working, others cannot, or exercise it in an intelligent and political way. In theory, the well-being of the employees is affected by this in a context of contempt for globalization, not to say an accusation of capitalism (notably because our dependency on China is excessive and is costing us dearly today). The question of whether or not to distance ourselves from the epidemic (family members may be contaminated) will directly influence the COMEX and fine and agile strategies will be necessary. It will also be necessary to take into account the permanent stop-and-go between professional work and repeated calls, then the role of school teacher, cleaning lady or others…
What are the company manager’s responses in a setting like this: keeping in touch is essential, as well as providing information on the state of the company. But managers will be directly confronted with a human element in an almost unprecedented way. In this context, it is difficult to argue that optimism would make work easier, if only out of compassion for others. But for many individuals, various social or psychological processes tend to mask these attacks. Working, and the conditions of employment in this context, can contribute to building, preserving or developing desire and motivation, which is paradoxical but fundamentally very beneficial.
We will develop a whole series of coaching contents, brain spotting, as well as analyses on the employees’ situations, both psychological and philosophical, to face this trauma.
You will find in this blog studies on the lessons to be learned from the situation on our models of collaboration and work and on our corporate organizations to be built.
History knows this for all of us. All major crises are sad but often “great opportunities” to rewrite history.