How to Improve In-Office Employee Communication During Covid-19
Office life has gone through a dramatic change in 2020. With many of us shuffled into our homes during the pandemic, there were a select few who continued commuting into their workplace. These essential workers saw first hand the transformation Covid-19 delivered. Now, as more offices, schools and facilities open their doors, more people are realizing how different this work environment has become.
Gone are the communal break rooms. Shared office spaces have to suddenly spread out to all four corners of the building’s footprint. Even conference rooms have been vacated. Suddenly, mass communication started to look different at work.
Computer-mediated communication outlets such as Slack and Google Hangouts became more prevalent. Workers also discovered new tools like Zoom could replace any face-to-face meeting. Communication looks difference. But that doesn’t mean we have to work harder. Here’s how your workforce can get smarter by improving employee communication.
Leveraging Digital Communication Responsibly
You’ve heard the old adage: this meeting could’ve been an email. In today’s world, that might as well be one of your office’s 10 commandments. With people not being as accessible face-to-face like they once were, we have gradually turned into a digital society. It didn’t start with the pandemic, but now it’s made us realize how valuable these tools can be.
Email, proprietary business communication platforms and project management software are all alternative to face-to-face interactions. These tools alone have elimainted progress report meeting, daily huddles and even strategy sprints. Some of them became life savers for the companies attempting to stay organizied while the workforce was remote.
The downside is they have forced a very online culture at work. Instant messages are expected to be answered within minutes, virtual to-do lists need to stay updated and projects need to be signed off before the next step.
This creates a lot of mental pressure. Remember, your employees have gone through a crisis, so be wary in showing urgency. Instead, show empathy and be flexible. Release unnecessary pressure of them coming back the office to create positivity around the office as people return.
The Distribution of Mass Communication
Digital signage software is a great way to distribute messages throughout an office or warehouse. It’s also among the safest. A digital setup in your building isn’t complicated to install. All you need is the hardware that connects to the internet and a media player, such as a television screen, with an HDMI input.
The benefit here is two-fold. Not only are you spreading messages throughout your entire team without person-to-person contact, you’re not flooding their inbox with another weekly status report. And speaking of reports, take them off the small individual computer monitors and display them throughout the office.
There are no limits when it comes to digital signage. Whatever you would like to express to your team can be displayed with a few clicks of a button. This is great for warehouses to celebrate production goals. It’s also useful for offices to stay up-to-date on the latest health updates and meeting schedules.
Keeping Everyone on the Same Page
At the end of the day, people returning to their place of work are going to be hesitant about the safety of their environment. No matter the rules and regulations set by the CDC or the long email sent by the office manager, people are going to need more. What this means for managers is more communication about health updates. Making sure your employees know that their safety is on your radar will assist them with this transition.
Weekly or daily helath-relataed updates will reassure the workforce that it’s safe to be at the workplace. This positive mindset alone will be enough to improve moral, in turn boosting communication. It’s a weird time to be in an enclosed space with other people. But that doesn’t mean it has to hurt your productivity.