Due to the many working from home, employers would be wise to keep a close eye on employee satisfaction and employee experience. On the one hand to provide help with concerns, stress complaints and the sharp rise in absenteeism, but also to improve work processes, cooperation and remote management. Because working from home is here to stay, but the support of employers is in dire need of new steps.
Learning process in phases
Due to the corona measures, many people immediately started working from home. That is a habituation and learning process with different phases. After employers and employees in March and April were mainly looking for the right approach and home workplaces were set up, it turned out to be going quite well. In May, satisfaction with working from home was already much higher than in April, shows dit thuiswerkonderzoek performed in the Netherlands. However, the needs of different employees can differ greatly. This requires more customization in facilitating home working.
More absenteeism due to gloom and stress
Who deeper into the Employee Experience (EX) of homeworkers dives, sees better where the needs and acute bottlenecks of specific employees (and managers) lie. Many employees appear concerned, which can lead to problems such as absenteeism or reduced motivation over a longer period of time. The second corona wave caused in October explosieve groei in ziekteverzuim. Not only due to symptoms of illness and preventive quarantine until the test results are available, but also mainly due to the gloom and stress caused by the corona crisis.
The (private) concerns of homeworkers were immediately great at the start of the pandemic. But even after the first corona wave subsided and measures were relaxed, about half of the people turned out to be afraid and to have (financial) concerns, research by the international consultancy organization Willis Towers Watson shows in August (also in the Netherlands). In addition, two out of three homeworkers say they still suffer from distractions.
Partial working from home remains
How do employers and managers deal with this? Because after more than half a year of (partially) working from home, you would expect that the unfamiliarity of the beginning is now over. And the end is not yet in sight either. Because even after this pandemic, working from home will undoubtedly continue to play a greater role than before. Because almost everyone has now (out of necessity) been able to experience how working from home works, how the tools (such as Microsoft Teams) work exactly and in which cases working remotely can be good or even better.
It will be interesting to see what this will mean for working from home, efficiency and, for example, savings on travel time. This also fits in seamlessly with the developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (industrie) which is going on right now. Technology, sustainability and efficiency go hand in hand and that changes work and production processes to the core. The corona crisis seems to be accelerating this development.
Measure and optimize EX homeworkers
In any case, people will continue to work from home more. This also means that the facilitation of home workers must be further optimized, precisely with an eye for the customization that is required for different employees. After the corona crisis, concerns about the pandemic will of course decrease, but the need for good support and different management 'at a distance' will only increase.
This makes measuring the perception and needs of employees even more important for the success of organizations. Fortunately, measuring the EX with online technology and platforms (such as GrowPromoter) can now be done very easily, with one or a few questions at the right time. The feedback that this provides is essential for further optimizing working from home, so that it is productive and with great job satisfaction.
It is expected that employers will increasingly take this step now and in the near future. Possibly also in connection with measuring the customer experience (Customer Experience). After all, how do customers rate the performance of your organization if it is increasingly (partly) delivered at home? We measure both (EX and CX) and of course keep a close eye on these crucial developments.
Director and co-founder of GrowPromoter