The Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) has called on organisations to figure out how they can effectively drive work-life balance on employees to enhance their productivity.
The Institute said this was necessary following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has forced many organisations to embrace the new normal of working from home.
Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, CIPM, Busola Alofe, told The Guardian that organisations need to change their mindset that employees’ productivity is guaranteed when they see him or her sitting in the office, emphasising that what mattered most was quality of result.
According to her, what organisations must start to do is to understand the connection between the workers’ lives at home and at work, noting that with COVID-19, the workplace is anywhere you can get online; when you are at home, you are at work and when you are at work, you are at home.
She said she strongly believes that organisations are all about people. “Even though we are people at work, we are people who also have our lives, and the connection between work and life is getting closer every day.
“Even though there is a continuum from home to work there should also be boundaries. The fact that I can work from home does not mean I should not have a home-life anymore. Employees need their personal time, private space, and family time.
“For organisations to really demonstrate that they care about people, not just the business or the numbers, from what we have learnt about COVID-19 and the transition to virtual work, organisations must become much more sensitive to the fact that workers are holistic people. When they leave their homes does not mean they shut their homes 100 per cent out of their lives, they bring home to work and they take work home; we need boundaries.
“It means organisations need to change the mindset from an employee to be productive only when I see him or her sitting down in the office. If an employee is supposed to produce 10 units of output in a week but produced the same 10 units in two days, you can say: go and rest, or say: do 10 more, but make sure you give them a reward for the extra they are doing.
“It is about understanding those connections and making sure that they have the tools they need to make the job easy, and when life comes knocking, organisations should have empathy that these employees have lives, have issues, and show that they support them fully and care about them, because that is what the employee also do for the organisation.
“The employees care for the business of the organisation, they support the business of the organisation, they deliver stakeholder experience that delights, therefore, brings repeated business and retains customers, and that is how the business would grow. So it is mutual,” she said.