Balancing Productivity & Job Satisfaction During the Great Resignation

The Great Resignation may cast a shadow over the digital transformation of your organization’s lagging epidemic and business acceleration plans as employees look for better opportunities or turn their hobbies into new jobs. It’s a trend that may have you looking at employee wellness initiatives and even salary audits and adjustments in an effort to retain your best talent.

But there is another side to labor shortage as well. With the rise of remote work, the administrative default in measuring whether you’re getting your work done — counting seat heels — doesn’t work anymore. How do you know your employees are really doing their jobs?

In a now-famous viral video, the CEO of mortgage originator Better.com was recorded firing 900 employees via a Zoom call. CEO Vishal Garg confirmed to Fortune that he was also the author of a previously anonymous post on a message board that stated that at least 250 of the terminated people “were working an average of 2 hours a day while they were logged in more than 8 hours a day in the payroll system” . Fortune told that his management team began reviewing individual employee productivity data four weeks ago, including missed phone call rates, the number of incoming and outgoing calls, employee late attendance at customer meetings, and other factors. He also told Fortune that his company is now paying more attention to productivity data.

The situation of the company, which is funded by Softbank and Novator, with plans to go public through a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC) merger before the end of 2021 is likely to put some new pressure on executives to scrutinize financial statements and payroll.

However, moving to remote work may bring these questions about how productivity is measured to the minds of managers in a variety of companies. Their old ways of making sure employees are busy are no longer available.

“There are a thousand reasons why I believe working from home will become a thing” in the long run, says Terry White, chief analyst at Omdia. “One of the most important is that executives and managers will have to change their management styles.”

In fact, many of the same tech giants who championed remote work enabled with their own tools, like Google Meet, for example, have made plans for employees to return to the office.

Google itself planned to require employees to return to the office from January 10, 2022. However, the company emailed workers earlier this month to postpone that requirement indefinitely amid concerns about the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. The company did not give a new date for the return of employees, saying that a decision will be made in the new year based on local conditions.

However, the number of employees returning to the office voluntarily appears to be on the rise. During an upcoming Reuters conference on December 2, a Google real estate executive said an average of about 40% of American employees have been in their positions in recent weeks, up from 20% to 25% three months ago.

Employees who continue to work from home may face an increased level of monitoring in the coming months and years, according to Gartner. The company said organizations are using AI-enabled systems to analyze worker behavior in the same way that AI is used to understand shoppers, customers and members of the public.

Lots of other approaches have been implemented in the past year as well, according to Gartner’s featured research VP Whit Andrews, which is why many workers suddenly find their schedules full of Zoom calls and perhaps also some extra check-in meetings for managers/workers and more recently. Progress reports required.

For Google, the company said it expects employees to return at least 3 days a week once a new return-to-office date is set. Meanwhile, the company is redesigning its floor plans to maximize private, quiet spaces for distraction-free work, based on feedback from those already back in the office, according to Reuters.

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