According to Stanford Economist Nicholas Bloom, COVID-19 pandemic could generate a worldwide productivity slump threatening economic growth . Bloom identifies the remote work environment elements at home (children, home office space constraints, and lack of privacy) as the reasons.
Since work from home will become the preferred way of working, the concerns of productivity will have to be addressed upfront to ensure unhampered work. Managers will have to ensure the 4C’s: effective coordination, collaboration, communication, and contribution across the remote teams. Clear communication guidelines on when to use synchronous (calls) and asynchronous (emails) modes of communication will have to be floated.
Managers will have to lead by example by creating achievable goals and to-do lists, and setting clear direction and right expectations for their teams. And instead of checking-in frequently, managers will have to build trust and keep the workforce’s morale up, thus boosting productivity.
In addition to focusing their thoughts on getting work done, businesses will have to also invest in tools that will make work happen. Meetings, brainstorming sessions, training, performance reviews, and everything that happened at offices will have to happen on reliable, secure, and flexible collaboration platforms and video-conferencing tools.
Work towards this direction started when work from home started with lockdowns. Many businesses adopted modern tools to ensure their teams continued to work together.
As a proof point, Google Meet observed over 2 billion video meeting minutes daily in April 2020 .
The start might have been rough for working in the New Normal, but with the right remote environment, collaboration tools, and by understanding each others’ remote working patterns, productivity can be reclaimed.