Regulating the work productivity in the times of a disease outbreak is a big challenge. Something that enterprises might not be prepared for. IT Firms around the world are pondering over the effectiveness and feasibility of work from home parameters. Though, in developing countries like India a huge number of organizations who are not equipped enough to allow their employees to work remotely. Moreover, many of these companies are based out of cities where the numbers of positive Covid-19 cases are steadily increasing. It is therefore imperative to have a discussion as to understand:
- How effective work from home parameters are in such times?
- What are the prerequisites for effective Work from Home?
- And most importantly, how can work productivity be ensured at the time of this disease outbreak?
Certainly, Work from home parameters will help reduce crowded spaces in the workplace and maintain an environment that can be easily monitored. It is also a beneficial option during such times due to:
- No travel through potentially infected spaces for the employees
- More manageable stress levels for employees due to the calm of the homely environment
- Bandwidth to deep clean and contamination proof the office spaces so that the employees can work there in future
However, as discussed earlier, not all organizations are equipped to present work from home parameters as an option. There are a certain prerequisites that the companies must ensure before they allow remote working:
- Ensuring employees availability in a network where other team members can connect and work with them. Apart from the infrastructure and equipments (like laptops) required for this, companies also need to ensure a definite time slot for the employees to work in.
- Once the availability is ensured, it is also necessary for the employees to be responsive on their part. This will keep the work productivity monitored
- Additionally, tech support is also crucial for effective and productive work from home. Unforeseen issues need to be assisted and dealt with as soon as possible.
- Proper Security infrastructure is also critical. Environment is more exposed to data exchange risks in these situations
It might be very difficult for companies to take upon work from home parameters as a primary preventive measure if they cannot ensure the above points. The onus, thus, falls on the organization to ensure a healthy environment for all the employees. Regulating productivity requires keeping employees healthy and safe. Companies need to make sure of this by:
- Conducting regular risk assessments for the facilities like water coolers/purifiers, washrooms & locker rooms, conference rooms. In fact, a general deep cleaning of the workplace should be done at regular basis
- Diseases like Covid-19 are effectively airborne. Having a good ventilation system can dilute (if any) the airborne infections and lower the health risks. Exhaust fans should also be used if re-circulating ACs are running at the workplace
- Throughout the day, the employees might find themselves in infection prone situations. Therefore, they need to disinfect themselves regularly. Proper hygiene spaces are necessary for this. They should have the required resources like napkins and masks, sanitization products etc. for the employees
- Companies are also responsible to spread awareness about the ongoing situation to avoid hysteria amongst the employees
Moreover, these guidelines need to be regularly updates in sync with authorities like WHO so that the workplace is always ready to ensure health and safety of the employees.
Times of a disease outbreak may get really paranoid because of all the information that keeps flooding in. Work from home parameters can make sure health safety of the employees. However, if not able to provide that option, organizations need to be responsible enough to make its employees feel safe. A healthy employee is crucial for a healthy and growing enterprise.