Coronavirus has affected all of us, both personally and professionally. Businesses across the globe have struggled through an incredibly uncertain time, and employees have looked to their employers more than ever for guidance and support.
Office managementhas always been a demanding job, with lot's of very different tasks and stakeholders to deal with, the rise of a global pandemic left lots of companies looking at their office heroes to get them through the crisis.We caught up with some office managers from different businesses, to get a better understanding of how the workplace and the role is changing and adapting to support a world post-COVID.
Juana went on to say that N26's main priority throughout this situation was employee health; offices were closed from day one.Yet, not all companies had as much practice with remote work. Our very own Chief of Staff, Oriol Riera, explains:
Whether the switch to remote work had already been practiced or required agile transitioning from a core office management team, what companies needed to do after the operational shift was to provide at-home support for employees.
The change has been a toll on everyone, both physically and mentally. It's now the employers' responsibility to ensure all types of support, helping the shift to remote work to be as manageable as possible.TransferWise’s Head of People Operations in Europe, Jana Padabed, shared how the TransferWise team has been organizing creative events for their employees, in addition to providing ergonomic office supplies to set up a comfortable home office.The team at TransferWise knows that times are especially challenging for parents and carers, and enables people to work flexible hours to accommodate this. Jana expanded on this, explaining that as well as professional support, companies need to provide emotional and human support for the shift to remote work. She explains that the TransferWise Office team acknowledges that not all staff are able to make the switch so easily and what may be second nature for some, is not as easy for everybody – and that office managers have had to, and need to continue to, see how they can support the team.
In short, the TransferWise team showed that the switch to remote work requires more than just a chair and desk.
N26 employees also have private healthcare, which includes access to psychological support.Juana spoke of how they kept WE26, the N26 intranet, updated with valuable info and advice including health tips, fun lockdown activities, book recommendations, and the latest updates from founders. "During the strictest part of the lockdown, we also had access to free online Yoga classes and a free 3-month trial of Headspace- a really cool meditation app."
Yes, Coronavirus has changed our world. The way we work, the way we interact, and the way we think, have all been drastically altered. We've suffered significant losses, both financially and personally.Yet, out of this tragedy, we've been reminded to reconnect and to ultimately stay human. In the workplace, office managers have been at the heart of change and support. They've helped get staff to a place, both physically and mentally, where they can work and bring value to the company. They have been at the vanguard of leading support initiatives which have real psychological and business benefits. Ultimately, office managers have been essential to businesses navigating through these uncertain times, and their acts of kindness and empathy are examples for many.In fact, Oriol Riera from TravelPerk could not have said it better,
- We completely agree.