“The new normal”, the newest trend within the business world and quite frankly the whole world begs the question whether this will be the new reality and whether the implication will be a change to everything virtual.
Some individuals fear this new movement that society has hurled itself into. From all angles this ‘new normal’ has been the very opposite. Humanity was and still is very dependent on human contact, however, virtual does hold positive.
Virtual teams are rather successful; most employees have shown increase in productivity. Another interesting thing worth mentioning is that autonomy is tremendously easier than what it used to be in an office. Autonomy is a very important factor within business and virtual platforms provides an opportunity for individuals to develop this specific skill. The new virtual world that stands so prodigiously in front of many employers and employees holds the key to gaining a competitive advantage.
When employees are in their ‘own space’ they tend to feel more comfortable talking about business matters, as it is viewed as a safe space. There is no threat within reach and as a result employee feel comfortable to be more open and communicative. When employees feel engaged it encourages them to work harder and connect effortlessly with their fellow colleagues.
The virtual world has developed so rapidly within this past year it is not only beneficial for social and work motivation in companies but also creates a large platform for employees to work on something together and facilely convert the idea into a reality.
It is true that there are certainly a few challenges in the virtual world, but as humanity has always survived and adapted, they will continue to do so.
The concerning matters are situations such as ‘taking work home’ since it is easy and very accessible, a simple way of handling a situation like this could be setting clear and achievable goals to employees and employers. Make it a simple and effective goal and set a time period. This will teach employees not only to master time periods. This will create a clear goal; people want to know why they have to do something, not always how.
Secondly, pressure. Naturally virtual job positions have skyrocketed. People often face telepressure, a term used by Rebecca K. Mansfield in her 2018 journal publication (Employee Job Satisfaction and Attitudes in Virtual Workplaces). Telepressure can roughly be explained as anxiety and anxiety related symptoms due to employees fearing failure. Situations such as “not making enough sales” or “doing paperwork wrong” since they do not understand some of the digital platforms, is really one of the main causes. Simple but effective way of dealing with this is; grouping or buddies. How this works is by placing no more than five (5) individuals with different sets of skills together. This will not only create great teambuilding exercises it will also create the opportunity to learn. Older members from the group would assist in teaching novices, and the younger groups might help them with the shift towards paperless work environment.
There will always be people who are terrified of going virtual; there are negative things about some of these virtual situations. This will never be a problem if clarity is given. The more employees know, the better they can function and improve the company. Rome was not built in a day.