WFH is here to stay: Here’s how leaders can maintain employee wellbeing and productivity
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we work in much of the world, and Australia is no exception. For office-based workers, the most significant changes have been brought about by lockdowns, which have forced employers to switch entire workforces to working from home (WFH) and to learn how to manage their workforces remotely.
Recent research makes it clear that working from home requires new policies. The impacts of working from home can include stress, loneliness and boredom and all of these can eventually affect the individual’s functioning and their ability to perform.
This means managers now require new approaches to leadership and new skills for providing greater support to flexible workers. Leaders should prioritise the psychosocial safety of employees and effectively communicate their commitment and support for the wellbeing of all workers.
The shift to more online work means the task of managing teams of employees has also changed substantially. Often, this has meant that manager’s workloads have escalated as they grapple with coordinating dispersed geographical WFH team members. Our studies have found that a one-size-fits-all approach to flexible working is not effective, as WFH is experienced differently by demographic cohorts such as women, those with carer responsibilities, and those with a disability.