The new coronavirus outbreak has changed the workplace—and proven that during a time of so much stress and uncertainty, it’s important employers are doing what they can to make their workers feel safe.
Some employees no longer have childcare and are homeschooling their kids, while others are trying to protect high-risk loved ones, all while working from home. Managers should prepare to shift their expectations. One Mountain View, California, dad of three had the right idea about flexibility, responsibility and transparency.
Daniel Shapero, the chief business officer at LinkedIn, took to the site to let other managers know how he feels they should treat employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized that it isn’t practical to expect undivided attention from people as they manage their stress.
“Leaders, please demonstrate to your teams that it’s OK to step out of a meeting because a child needs help or because we want to respond to a text from our family,” Daniel wrote.
He couldn’t be more right. Employers need to use this time of anxiety and flux to show their workers there are more important things than just being productive for the company. After all this blows over, we hope it ultimately shifts the workplace to embrace a more family-friendly perspective.
“It’s OK. Don’t apologize,” Daniel wrote. “We’re all trying to be productive while caring for ourselves and for those around us.”
As working parents know (and have always wanted to hear from managers), there’s no reason to feel bad for putting family first. Whether it’s starting up a video for your little ones or running your parents to urgent care, prioritizing family should be encouraged. We hope more managers step up like Daniel and let all employees know there are more important things than work right now.