InsiderBusinessWorking environment changes due to coronavirus

Working environment changes due to coronavirus

It’s a big challenge for Cypriots to learn to work from home, President of the Cyprus Human Resources Management Association (CyHRMA) Panayiotis Thrasyvoulou told Insider.

With the coronavirus epidemic forcing businesses to move whole departments outside the office environment, employees have to learn to adapt to working from home.

“Protocols, especially management ones, are the real problem. New protocols have to be put in place,” he said.

With most people working from home, employers are asked to also manage mental health issues such as stress and “boredom” of employees or even of the family environment surrounding them.

“The working environment is changing and it is difficult to separate family and work,” he also said.

Thrasyvoulou is optimistic enough that normality will return to the workplace with employees gradually returning back to offices. Nonetheless, they may have to work from home again if the virus reappears, he warned.

At the same time, several companies ask employees to take compulsory leave and work from home. And a number of issues are also raised here, such as how the employee will deal with this development or how the employer will separate office leave and work from home.

Thrasyvoulou called on employers to be open, fair and frank with their staff.

“People make assumptions if there is no communication and that’s bad. Communication is a must and employers should take advantage of the channels of communication they have.”

Moreover, redundancies or reduction in salaries should be the last measure an employer should consider, said Thrasyvoulou. And he pointed out that there are other cost-cutting measures that can be taken at this stage.

“To begin with, the problem is operational. It’s an opportunity for employers to consider their system of  operation, how office space is used and what rent they pay.

“Employers should also be aware of government aid and realise that if they proceed with firing people they will not be able to benefit from these benefits.”

Flexibility and adaptability are the keywords behind the successful confrontation of the effects of the coronavirus crisis, Thrasyvoulou also said.

By Marios Rousou

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