The coronavirus outbreak is by far one of the greatest human tragedies known to mankind after world wars and plagues, affecting millions of people across the globe and impacting the global economy.
This unprecedented challenge has forced businesses to reinvent themselves. There was already a fundamental shift under way in the workforce as new technologies and norms on workplace culture had started to change the way we work. However, this sudden switch to digital work remotely has potentially accelerated those changes that were initiated in how work is performed and the way we think about adaptation of working from home. On a positive note, since no business has been immune to COVID-19 and this crisis may prove to be a major reason to turn over the digital transformation of the workplace including the logistic industry as well which has profound impact.
As per the MHA guidelines, prevention from the spread of COVID-19' is going to be one of the most important parts for the business leaders of daily operations for the Logistics industry including warehouse/other operations sites to ensure the 'safety of people at work. We need to take well-informed decisions to safeguard and keep up our people's morale and ensure that critical business operations support the immediate and long-term societal needs.
We should never forget that delivery executives play a crucial role in the logistics industry and millions of workers in these fields are doing ‘gig’ work, their major role is on field and moving their working lives online is not possible, It’s just business as usual. Currently, COVID-19 is putting the low-paid group of gig workers such as ride-hailing and delivery under huge strain.
Employer’s objective for protecting workers against the unfavourable impacts of the crisis is not only about having a safe environment but the objective also includes protecting them mentally better those working at the field and low incomes.
These are stressful and unusual circumstances and there is no one solution to fit everyone’s needs but employer should follow some steps to reduce workplace fatigue for workers:
- Create a plan to manage fatigue risk on the job and help your employees to understand. This will create a culture where employees can feel safe and can coordinate/communicate with their management clearly.
- For rotation shift work, use day to evening to night and give notice to the employees well in advance if there are any shift changes.
- Engage and Enthuse your employees to keep up their morale on a regular basis.
- Build readiness in your employee’s mind on facing and handling the obvious in terms of risks posed to all of us in this crisis.
- Provide travel facilities to employees where possible and give them some time to sanitize themselves before and after the driving commute.
Most businesses are thinking of adopting the working from home culture on a regular basis after the crisis as well. Not only that, this crisis will also change the way we work. Business as usual at the office will almost certainly be very different considering: more space, sanitation and flexibility, with more employees working from home on a semi-regular basis.
Returning to the office could mean to develop strategies to get the businesses back on track and who can work from home and who will probably need to be in the office, warehouse, and factory. Employers could face a challenge in finalizing exactly who those employees are, such as sales, delivery, relationship management that require face-to-face interaction, may lead to changing health guidelines and customer preferences. Other strategies depend on onsite tools or technology and can’t be done from home. The strategy of two way communication to identify problems with return to office can create an opportunity for employers to strengthen office culture, increase productivity and employees loyalty.
Engaging organizations will be those that have expertise and adopted the digital work, team, and collaboration. To adopt post COVID-19 effect, companies need to begin planning for five key skills in an employee:
- Most of us have now figured out how to serve customers and clients remotely, every industry has adopted its own method of owning digital transformation. As a result, the demand for highly skilled remote workers will continue to increase.
- Gone are the times where being the first one in the office and the last one to leave was considered as the good commitment and performance. In a post-COVID-19 environment, employees will be measured on their productivity and quality of work. Leaders must motivate employees to perform with required modeling and measurement of their outputs and be clear on those metrics to achieve level-set expectations for what drives organizational priorities and goals, rather than discrete tasks.
- Employers must remove the stigma of 9 to 5 office reporting hours and support employees’ needs to make time for self-care–including exercise, meals, and family time.
- Now that most of the companies have adopted digital transformation, employees are communicating more efficiently and more frequently across the networks.
- Leaders can make communication easier for their people and provide employees with the tools and training they need to empower themselves for ongoing communication and local decision-making.
- Employers and employees must understand and support each other and create an expectation of humankind, effective listening, assistance, and relation. This will earn greater trust and loyalty from their employees regardless of the external environment.
- Above all, speak to your employees and allow a seamless communication to flow. It's obvious that everyone understands the current situation is not normal, but they all have apprehensions and anxiety. Deal with it instead of shying away from it.
Whatever happens post COVID-19, it seems likely this pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on our work life balance, the way we work and how our workplaces seem like. The focus on health and hygiene is the new idea of working in a sterile environment.