Impact of COVID-19 on Workplace Communication
The primary aim of this paper is to identify the most effective ways to communicate within the workplace while maintaining adequate Covid-19 protocols and social distancing measures. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the concern for safety and health has risen tenfold creating new health measures and safety protocols throughout the workplace. As well as the personal and social aspects of individuals. However, organisations need to function and operate and require creating adequate changes so as to venture into those effectively. This paper makes some good and realistic suggestions to create an effective communication channel and network, even during the pandemic, that can keep all the measures and parameters of the considerations for the Covid-19 pandemic intact. This essay creates and effective and robust way for organisations to maintain an active and associative workplace even with social distancing. The proposed ideas will be well accounted for the organisation structure and will be advised keeping in mind the nature of organisational operations and communication framework and networks in place.
Following the outbreak of the Corona virus pandemic and the devastating effect of the same on the health and welfare of people, it is important for the world to reimagine some of the strong and age old values and practices to better suit the requirements of the Corona virus pandemic. The effect of lockdowns and social distancing has driven businesses to adopt newer policies and embrace remote working as the new norms. As a result, organisations have been tasked with developing newer policies and practices that can complement their business practices without disrupting the flow of business (Rutten et al. 2021). This is because the Covid-19 pandemic had an adverse and negative effect on the operations of businesses as well. The parameters of social separation have become the new standard to operate in secure settings and sustain functional workplaces as lockdown orders have gradually loosened and companies have gradually reopened. Being at the top, however, makes promoting appropriate business communications with social distancing more difficult. Maintaining the customary and routine level of collaboration among staff may be incredibly tough and time-consuming. Furthermore, adopting social distance policies can have a detrimental influence on your company's productivity, employee motivation, and even overall workplace satisfaction (Nembhard, Burns and Shortell 2020). Hence, organisations need robust and extensive communication ideas and plans to create a healthy and productive level of employee association and collaboration that ensures the normal and regular functioning of the organisation effectively and creates communication measures that are future proof and effective, keeping into the present scenario in account. This essay will make recommendations for the same and will try to provide realistic and effective communication strategies and solutions to combat the case of communication within the workplace and organisation, while maintaining social distancing and Covid-19 parameters in place (Rutten et al. 2021).
- Promoting Workplace Safety: For most workers, the new rules and regulations can get challenging as they are not used to it. Organisations are accustomed to use all of their space effectively. An effective way to segregate the workers can be via the use of cubicles and custom spaces that creates barriers between two employees by design. Also, a streamlined communication like single telephone line, email thread, SMS or even cubicle specific communication networks can be used to create effective communication and network practices. The organisation can also employ software like attendance managers, Google Chat, WhatsApp, and other professional communication applications to communicate effectively with the workforce even when they are physically present at the office. This can create a streamlined communication network and can create the habit of digital communication measures (Sanders et al. 2020).
- Preventing Communication Overload: It's critical to have strategic communication and information exchange when social distance is the new norm in the workplace. It's critical to be able to communicate clearly. However, bombarding team members and employees with emails and texts every time anything has to be addressed or conveyed is not the ideal course of action, especially in a very struct work environment when everyone is already under a lot of mental stress. Employees might get demotivated and unhappy at work as a result of an overabundance of communication, resulting in decreased productivity. This can have a long-term negative impact on the performance of an organisation. Particularly for people who absorb information "slower" or are less tech-savvy. Workers tuning out of this communication channel is the last thing the organisation wants. It's usually a good idea to have a communication strategy in place. Instead of sending out constant emails reminding employees to accomplish their jobs and other things, prioritise critical messages such as corporate regulations or status updates. This manner, the organization's message will be able to break through the clutter and maybe keep the receivers' collective awareness in check. It's also a good idea to leave the door open for employees to communicate with their supervisors and superiors. Many people may be hesitant to express their ideas or worries on a channel where others may see or read them together (Stephens et al. 2020).
- Provision of Adequate Collaboration Tools and Time for Adjustments: Working varied times and dealing with remote employees might frequently need the workforce adapting to the current challenging scenarios and adopting particular methods. Due to concerns about health and safety and mandated Covid-19 regulations, most workers will have to adjust to the inability to move over to a colleague for direct cooperation. Allowing the organization's personnel to settle in and progressively absorb the social distancing measures in place will be beneficial. The amount of time it takes to adapt depends on a number of factors, including staff adaptability and retention. However, this is still an important aspect of company continuity. It's always a good idea to provide enough collaboration equipment and tools to make things as simple and as feasible for all employees to communicate. Instant messaging technologies like WhatsApp and Slack, as well as video conferencing solutions like Google Meet and Zoom, may assist organisations' internal communication and intra communication practises greatly and effectively. Furthermore, if the company depends significantly on document sharing and creation, establishing a robust cloud infrastructure is critical (such as Google Drive or Dropbox). Remote cooperation will be a breeze as a result of this. Using these technologies and having a dedicated in-house IT team is always advantageous for organisations to have a robust digital network and infrastructure for communication(White et al. 2021).
- Provision of Training and Encouraging Knowledge Sharing: If the company just adopted and installed collaboration technologies in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, it's possible that not all employees are familiar with them. Things is never a good idea to leave staff to find it out on their own. This might stymie development and productivity while also allowing for mistakes. Encouraging those who already know how to make the most of these technologies can give useful insights and suggestions for others. Tutorials and training are included in the majority of collaborative software products (Ruttenet al. 2021).
The social separation will most likely last for an indefinite period of time. All firms must adapt to this trend. While the coronavirus pandemic may have had a significant influence on company performance, it may have also accelerated technology adoption by more than a decade. Adapting to the situation might help to strengthen the culture at work. And raise the bar on the employee experience. This exercise is important for organisations to build a robust and future proof network of communication for its employees so as to shift in accordance to need and requirement of the situation and practices.
The above essay successfully enumerates the different and various ways organisations can maintain effective communication within the workplace and the organisation at the wake of the Condvid-19 pandemic. This essay enumerates the several ways organisation can maintain a healthy communication flow and information exchange even while maintaining adequate Covid-19 and social distancing protocols, to account for the safety and health of the employees. This essay is important in understand how an organisation can function during the time of crisis and how organisations can adapt to different situations as per the requirement to create better value through their organisation. This essay enumerates several ways like virtual communication, digital communication, and so on that can cause effective working of the organisation without any major complications or issues. The proposed ideas are well accounted for the organisation structure and are advised keeping in mind the nature of organisational operations and communication framework and networks. This helps in understand the effect of Covid-19.
Nembhard, I.M., Burns, L.R. and Shortell, S.M., 2020. Responding to Covid-19: lessons from management research. NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery, 1(2).
Rutten, L.J.F., Zhu, X., Leppin, A.L., Ridgeway, J.L., Swift, M.D., Griffin, J.M., St Sauver, J.L., Virk, A. and Jacobson, R.M., 2021, March. Evidence-based strategies for clinical organizations to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 96, No. 3, pp. 699-707). Elsevier.
Sanders, K., Nguyen, P.T., Bouckenooghe, D., Rafferty, A. and Schwarz, G., 2020. Unraveling the what and how of organizational communication to employees during COVID-19 pandemic: Adopting an attributional lens. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 56(3), pp.289-293.
Stephens, K.K., Jahn, J.L., Fox, S., Charoensap-Kelly, P., Mitra, R., Sutton, J., Waters, E.D., Xie, B. and Meisenbach, R.J., 2020. Collective sensemaking around COVID-19: Experiences, concerns, and agendas for our rapidly changing organizational lives. Management Communication Quarterly, 34(3), pp.426-457.
White, E.M., Wetle, T.F., Reddy, A. and Baier, R.R., 2021. Front-line nursing home staff experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 22(1), pp.199-203.
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