How can companies support their employees amidst the stress of COVID-19 and uncertain future all the while ensuring that productivity remains consistent?
COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown in South Africa have forced companies and businesses to transition to remote working. This presents a host of challenges to companies.
TIPS FOR COMPANIES
1. Regular updates on COVID-19
Provide employees with updates on COVID-19 and the policies or protocols that the company has implemented during the lockdown. Ensure that all employees are able to access this information.
2. Employee Rights
Inform employees of their rights in terms of the law and the latest Guidelines released by the government.
3. Psychological Support
Commit to making available psychological support to employees (essential services continue to operate during lockdown). Employees could be experiencing stress from the impact of COVID-19. The loneliness employees are experiencing under lockdown should not be underestimated. Companies and businesses should encourage employee interaction over virtual platforms and should be aware that employees who are not accustomed to working remotely may be overworking and experiencing burnout.
4. Clear Communication
For employees to work productively, there should be clear communication channels open between the company and their work. The company should ensure that employees have access to Wi-Fi (which they should compensate employees for) and can work effectively on all relevant virtual platforms. It should be the company’s responsibility to train their employees and build the required technological skills.
5. Wi-Fi and Security
Hackers and cyber-criminals are taking advantage of the fear surrounding COVID-19 and have ramped up their attacks to access confidential company information. Employees could potentially be utilising insecure Wi-Fi networks at home which allows for email phishing and log-in screen phishing. The World Health Organisation has issued a warning on the threat that cyber warning presents to remote working.
Companies should assess to what extent their employees’ Wi-Fi networks are secure and continue to monitor to reduce the possibility of cyber attacks.