The pandemic has become the biggest tragedy in the last century that hit not only a part of the world, but everyone and all aspects of the world’s governments. We all know that the world depends on what each country can contribute to its advancing economy. Starting with the food industry and its manufacturing, the pandemic really hit us hard when the manufacturing of food and its distribution stopped. There is also the industry of customer support for telecommunications, banking, product and other different services that was halted since their work setup is located in a confined space. The sales industry that relies on physical interactions is also greatly affected by the change in setup and with the physical restrictions of the government worldwide. All in all, after the start of the world’s response to the COVID 19 virus, all working classes are shocked with the sudden change and some have even experienced losing their jobs. With the news of the possibility of most people wanting to be in hybrid work environment, there are questions to be asked. Read this article to know more.
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This is the reason why the hybrid work environment has been one of the most popular ideas that came up when the pandemic was still at its peak. A lot of employees got a sigh of relief that they will still be able to continue their work even without going to the office. This made one of our strongest industry in the country, the BPO industry, to continue their work setup even when they don’t have to go back to the office just yet. With this move, we were able to still continue and keep our economy surviving amidst the different restrictions the government placed. However, not all jobs are able to adapt to this change, especially the jobs where the employees need to be physically in the work area to continue their production. These jobs are the different blue and pink collared jobs where their physical presence is needed to continue their needed pay.
Who Are the Working Classes and Can They Adapt the Hybrid Working Setup?
A working class is a socioeconomic term used to describe a person’s social class marked by jobs that provides low pay, requires limited skills, or physical labor. In general, workers are characterized into collars, blue, white, red and pink. Blue collar workers are a working class that performs manual labor and blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled labor. These are the employees that includes construction workers, machine operators, assemblers and truck drivers. White collar workers are a working class that that are salaried professional that typically refers to general office workers and management. These are the professionals such as accountants, attorneys, bankers, doctors, engineers, managers, and scientists. Pink collard workers are members of the working class that performs in the service industry. These workers are normally in the position such as waiters, retail clerks, certain unlicensed assistive personnel and many others involving relations with people. Red collar workers are government workers of any type. The term is derived from compensation received from the red ink budget.
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Traditionally, the normal work set-up is usually in the headquarters or building owned by the company where employees work in a common space. In the recent years, there are a few companies and types of job that adapts the remote working set-up and this is because their headquarters or work location is in a different country or their job does not fully require to be physically on-site. A few examples are virtual assistant jobs where their client is mostly based abroad and that their job is mainly administrative in nature, these are self-employed workers that offers services to clients in a remote location, usually a home office. Virtual tutor is another example wherein an employee provides an online program that simulates a human tutor. A virtual tutor can be anyone that uses technology to identify a child’s learning needs. There are a lot of different setup for the different jobs offered in our country, now that the digital age is at its strongest. We are fortunate that a lot of platforms has already offered video calling or conferencing options even before the pandemic started and almost everyone in 2019 were already used to the idea of video calls, even in their family and friends.
The Digital Age and Hybrid Working
The year 2019 is when different work models are being adapted worldwide. When the pandemic started and the world is forced to shut down, companies are faced with the problem of production and its immediate halt. In the start of 2020 until now, almost all businesses are forced to make changes to allow their workforce to continue and save the jobs that could be lost if these companies will have to close down. But what is a hybrid working set up and how does this affect the employees’ productivity that will ultimately affect the company’s performance? If we search online, there are a lot of websites that describes productivity in hybrid work. A webpage called manilarecruitment.com defines the hybrid working model as a work management set up that allows and encourages the harmony of working from various locations: remote, at home, on the go, or in the office. Essentially, this a combination of working remotely and in an office. A hybrid working environment allows employees to have more flexibility and get their work done when they feel they can be most productive. Some workers perform best in the morning and others feel that they are at they best when they work in the afternoon or nighttime. There are also a few that prefers to work while being managed and some are independent workers and are productive that way. This setup also made it possible for the employees to be safe from the scare of the virus as this will also affect the people around the employees such as their families.
How Do We Measure Productivity?
In any work set-up, workers are being evaluated in multiple areas such as their attendance, output, and how productive they are at work, but how do we really measure productivity? Netsuite.com describes productivity as a measurement of how much output a company can produce from their resources such as labor, capital or raw materials. To easily understand, one of the best examples is the productivity of sales personnel. The company’s capital is the product knowledge, trainings, and materials that they provide to their employees to be able to make a sale. The number of sales that they produce in a certain week, month, or year is the measure of their productivity at work. For jobs where sales are not the measure of productivity, there are also ways to know the kind of productivity an employee can provide. There are several factors that affect one’s productivity in a workplace such as engagement, good people management practices, workplace environment and the availability of tools and technology necessary for their job. These tools will not only provide a safer way for the company to continue its operations, but make it easier for their employees to have what they need in order to make be efficient while working from their homes. In line with this, companies should also be knowledgeable about these type of tools and should put more budget into their IT department to ensure that every employee gets all of the needed passwords, installation of virtual applications, and things that can be transferred as a virtual app in their computers.
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Can Employee Engagement Increase Productivity?
What is employee engagement? What does it have to do with productivity in hybrid work? It is one known fact that working at home really takes out the physical engagement an employee usually experiences, and believe it or not, this affects the motivation as well as the productivity of an individual. Employee engagement is described as one’s behavior and feelings towards work. Understanding employee engagement is critical in any company or workplace as they can greatly benefit from an engaged employee. This will in turn can affect their focus and intense involvement for their work to be successful. Companies now have different strategies of making sure that their people are engaged and is sufficiently motivated. They create activities that are non-work related but still focuses on their skills and capabilities, they provide promotions based on their yearly performance, and others made efforts to make employees feel valued and respected by acknowledging their hard work and specific project outputs through awards and recognitions. And when an employee is appreciated and acknowledged, 90% of the time, they will provide a valuable output that contributes to the success, not just for themselves but for their team and the company. This sense of belongingness makes an employee feel motivated to contribute to the company’s success and it also ensures that employee retention will be secured.
How Does Management & Environment Affect an Employee’s Productivity?
One of the reasons why people stay long in their chosen career is the employee management and how they handle their people. Being in the management position is also not an easy task as it would require skills that is necessary for the success of the team and its people. They are responsible to oversee training and development, provide motivation and of course day to day management of their employees. These are few of the things that employees look for specially in a hybrid set up. In the traditional work set up when people are still required to report to work on site, employees always look forward to opportunities where they will be able to have that connection with their supervisor and peers whether it be for a performance catch-up or just plain conversation which also contributes to creating a positive and productive work environment. But in a hybrid setting, independent work environment is adapted as this also allows employees to work separate from their colleagues and has the freedom to choose their working style that suits them best, they also have full control on how much work they can and will produce that will still allow them to develop their skill and be productive.
Apart from having an engaged work culture, good people managers and a positive work environment, the tools used by employees are the most important things that greatly contribute to one’s productivity. By having the correct and necessary tools needed for their job such as, but not limited to, computers, working table, their own workspace, employers should also ensure that the resources needed should be readily available.
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So, How Do We Ensure Productivity?
As company and business owners in general, productivity is making sure that your employees get things done at a certain amount of time. In a hybrid work environment, we should not only focus on the output but rather also checking if one feels accomplished once they were able to complete a job. Anyone can make sure to meet a deadline, to provide what is expected, but when one employee, in any industry, completes their work and still does not feel accomplished, this can still lead to being unproductive and inefficient. Some of the habits that people do to complete their tasks is to create a list and rank it base on priority, taking more breaks to clear of their clouded mind when they have a deadline to meet allows them to feel recharge and be more efficient in completing the task.
As an employee, it should also be understood that the companies we are working for is not prepared for this kind of scenario, no amount of planning could have prepared even the best companies to handle the situation. Thank God we have been blessed with technology and this allowed us to still complete our work and help our jobs and businesses to stay afloat. So, also ensure that you find a place in your home dedicated for working and set a time to manage your working hours. It is vital that both employer and employee do what they can to keep the salary coming in.
In conclusion, whatever the work setup may be, the responsibility of productivity lies in the partnership created by the employer and employee. Each party must do their part in ensuring that the productivity in hybrid work is at its highest and that they are doing what they can in order to keep the business alive, since this will be beneficial to both parties.
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Written by Gene Llanes