Companies are working hard to help their homeworkers overcome their feelings of isolation, work smoothly and develop. Special care is given to employed foreigners who have problems with understanding the regulations and measures related to the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus. Except of regular news in English or their native language, they also help them with shopping or keeping in touch with relatives abroad. It results from a survey of the ABSL Association, which associates companies operating in the field of business services in the Czech Republic.
“Over 95% of our employees have been working in their homes for more than a month. From day to day, employees had to learn new work habits and start to remotely perform tasks they would have previously handled in a team or with tools they don’t normally have at home. The first analyzes that we have done among business service employers show that employees have done well. Their productivity even increased slightly on average, ”says Jonathan Appleton, director of ABSL.
However, employers provide broad support to their homeworkers, 84% of companies, for example, provide training courses on work efficiency on home office or new technologies that the employees have to start using. Two-thirds of companies provide their employees with full IT support and 40% help them overcome their feelings of isolation, stress and concerns in collaboration with psychologists or coaches. All the centers organize various virtual social events.
From virtual meetings to yoga classes
Of the 120,000 employees in the field of corporate services, 43% are foreigners, for whom it is not easy to know the current situation in the Czech Republic. That is why their employers, such as Infosys, Atlas Copco and Deutsche Telecom, are implementing a number of measures to help them navigate the latest government regulations while eliminating their feelings of loneliness. “For example, companies prepare an extract of Czech news in English on a daily basis and inform their foreign employees of the most important measures. Czech colleagues, on the other hand, offer them help with purchasing or arranging the necessary matters at the authorities, ” explains Jonathan Appleton. A total of 72% of business service centers in the Czech Republic provide a summary of important information to employees from abroad, and two thirds of centers seek regular contact through online communication tools. It is not just about business meetings, but also social activities such as virtual birthday parties, quizzes and various trainings and courses. Moreover, they concern all employees, not only those from abroad.
“We strive to keep our people fit in every way, and that’s why we have introduced a number of virtual meeting formats. From common afternoon coffee, through virtual quiz to regular yoga exercises, stretching or plank. In addition to entertainment, we also offer several thousand online courses that can be taken anytime, anywhere, ”says Sergei Holmeckis, Director of Czech Center Deutsche Telecom Services Europe.
Isolation time is a time of education
Time, which people now spend in isolation at home, often devotes themselves to self-education. According to a survey, 60 percent of companies see an increase in interest in the courses and training offered. Two-thirds of employees are particularly interested in personal development courses, 42% in trainings to acquire new competencies needed for a new position, 33% attend language courses. These companies began offering online classes, so the original classes moved to the screens and continue teaching through Skype, Teams or similar communication tools. Increase of the interest in the sector specific GBS qualification provided by Hackett Group, a strategic partner of ABSL in educational space, is also significant.
“Our people have access to a wide range of courses, from professional financial education, foreign languages and soft skills. At present, we perceive in particular a significant increase in the use of online courses on E-learning platforms. We also continue ACCA certifications online, which are very beneficial in our industry and require considerable time investment. This is one of the reasons why the right time is right now, ”says Roman Pavloušek, director of Atlas Copco Services.