How to Manage Workplace Disruption During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Story Highlights
  • 1. Ensure the safety of everyone
  • 2. Provide the right tools for the job
  • 3. Seek alternative workspaces
  • 4. Create a virtual socializing environment
  • 5. Keep communication open and prompt

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the world, workplace disruption is inevitable.

Some of the measures recommended to slow the spread of the virus are to observe social distancing and avoid crowded places. In this length, there is a need for organizations to send workers home and to adjust the workplaces to reflect these measures.

Managing this disruption has been quite a challenge even to the most experienced of managers.

If this has been an uphill task for you, read through for some tips on how to effectively manage workplace disruption at this time while still keeping productivity at optimal levels:

1. Ensure the safety of everyone

COVID-19 is highly contagious and every single person is at risk of contracting this dangerous disease. This is why organizations should give the safety of every stakeholder’s utmost priority.

Since the pandemic hit the world, many organizations have taken the initiative to close down fully or partially depending on their operations in a bid to protect its people. This is a commitment that each organization should be willing to make in order to slow the spread of the virus.

For those departments that can work remotely, draw up a remote working plan, and send the people involved home. For those whose work can’t be done remotely, set up the office in a way that work is done without coming into contact with one another.

Ensure that sanitization of the place is regularly done and that there are several sanitization points around the workplace. Consider also providing boarding services for workers who are required to work during curfew hours.

2. Provide the right tools for the job

Remote working is slowly becoming the new normal for most people.

While it would be so easy to assume that your workers know what it entails to work from home, you should not assume that they have the right tools to get the work done.

Go the extra mile of ensuring that each remote worker has the basic tools such as a laptop with the essential software required for the job, internet, and communication tools. Go a step further in training them on how to use these tools for even better collaboration.

It is paramount to appoint a digital workplace manager who can provide support to the remote workers as they set up their virtual workplaces.

3. Seek alternative workspaces

For remote workers, not everyone can be able to work from the comfort of their homes.

Considering that every member of the family is at home due to the pandemic, some homes may not be conducive for working due to distractions.

The nature of the work could also dictate a secured location that the home is not. It is important for the organization to seek alternative places that their workers can work from such as coworking space in their neighborhood.

The digital workplace manager should assess the coworking space to ensure that there is proper sanitization and the social distance measure is being observed before letting the workers use the center.

4. Create a virtual socializing environment

In an office setup, people work in close proximity with one another. There are regular interaction and socialization among the workers.

When designing a remote working plan, you should try to ensure that the same feeling is reflected even when working remotely.

Remote working is new to most people; working in isolation can drain the morale out, especially in an extrovert person who has no one to talk to. In addition, this period is challenging and stressful and can cause a deep sense of loneliness.

It is important that each member of the team feel connected and not left out.

Create a virtual socializing time that people can video call, not for business, but to just have a happy time. Allow them to talk about the challenges they are having and propose solutions and support.

5. Keep communication open and prompt

The COVID-19 pandemic period is confusing; people are unsure of the future of their jobs, the economy, and their health.

While there are so many sources of information about the virus, employees would trust most information coming from their employers.

Keep communication lines open where virtue workers can reach out to ask about the disease or their jobs. Make sure to pass important information such as job changes to your workers on time and regularly.


This period is sure a testing time for organizations to see how prepared for emergencies they really are.

How well they sail through this nightmare will significantly influence their position in the industry after the pandemic.

This is also a learning period and a wakeup call to always be prepared in case of workplace disruptions. Ensure to embrace the changes and apply the above tips to remain productive during and after this period.

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