This has been a strange couple of months for all of us.
Covid 19 and the resulting lockdowns have necessitated massive changes in all of our day-to-day lives. A huge shift to working from home (while simultaneously parenting from work for many of us) has fundamentally shifted how employees and employers think about each other.
Employees are suddenly appearing as whole people to each other and to their employers. We’re inviting each other into our homes through video calls, children and partners and pets are showing up in the background, schedules are more flexible so people are doing work around their commitments at home, and there seems to be more awareness of emotional and mental states that people are feeling mixed in with their work lives.
This is a time when employees are naturally worried about the future - the longer the lockdowns go on, the more damage to the economy will result and the higher the unemployment rate is likely to climb. But if your business is viable in these times, which is a fortunate position to be in, your performance is likely to be tightly tied to your culture.
If you tend to have the classic failures of management in your culture - poor communication, unclear strategic goals, ill-defined purpose, micromanaging of employees - then these are likely to be felt even more keenly by employees in these newly-remote working times.
So the second big question, after the first one of overall viability in this new world, is what your employees are feeling at this time. Are they engaged, are they aligned, do they feel heard, do they have what they need to perform to their best given the circumstances?
It’s much more difficult to have a clear read on these aspects of work now that there’s no opportunity for managers to walk the floor of their office and pick up the vibe from employees. As Tom Peters advocates, Management By Wandering Around (or MBWA) is one key approach to having an intuitive sense of your culture. Once the opportunity to do this is removed as it is now, we have to fall back on less intuitive methods of taking the temperature of your organisation.
This is where Workio comes in. We’ve been struggling with COVID-19 too - unsure of whether selling might seem pushy or even be effective in this strange world, not knowing whether there is still any market for our product. It’s still an open question - we don’t know if organisations will recognise the same need that we see for having clear, actionable, reliable data about how their employees feel about work. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.
But we’ve decided to try to be of help to those who do recognise this need.
We want Workio to do as much good as possible at this time - we’re therefore instituting a ‘pay what you feel’ model for customers during these unusual circumstances. We’re open for organisations of any size to use our product and service, and we will invite our customers to pay what they can based on the value they feel that Workio has been to them. If times are tough, or you haven’t seen value in using us, you’re free to pay us nothing.
We’ve created something we’re proud of, that we feel is of real value to customers, but we don’t want price to be a barrier at this time. We hope and expect that karma will come around if we are able to provide value to organisations and employees at this time, so we’re appealing to you to share this with anyone who might need to see it.
Help us help as many people as possible to have a better day-to-day experience of work. Let’s take this opportunity not just to ‘get back to normal’ as soon as we can, but to create a new normal better than the old.
We’re ready to get to work - let’s go.