It is impossible to overstate how much, and how quickly, the coronavirus crisis has changed the ways in which we work and live.
The COVID-19 outbreak affects every aspect of our lives — our health, families, careers, finances, and more — and while everyone is experiencing this moment in their own way, the global scale of the crisis means the impact is universal. This much is clear: everyone is affected. And everyone needs support. That is why SAP and Qualtrics opened up the XM Platform to create a free Remote Work Pulse. It is a real-time barometer that helps every organization understand how their employees are doing, what they need, and how they can help employees feel supported and productive.
It is all part of the robust conversation about adjusting to our new work-from-home reality — the stress, the distractions, the loneliness. In a national study of over 5,000 U.S. employees conducted by Thrive Global, 80% feel helpless and like things are out of their control. Even more — 85% — wish their employer would do more to help them adapt and manage.
But we’re also faced with a reality: the world does not stop moving. Even — and sometimes especially — in times of crisis. People need support now more than ever, and the only way to support them in meaningful ways is to understand the experience data, or what we call “X-data” — the feelings, sentiments, anxieties, and lived experiences of employees as they navigate this new normal.
Understanding, acknowledging, and acting on the challenges and questions our employees have will help us equip them to feel safe and productive. Global studies show — and many of us are finding out — that working from home doesn’t necessarily make it easier to get the sleep and exercise we need, disconnect from technology, and reduce stress.
In just a few days over 6,000 organizations have signed up for the free Remote Work Pulse. Armed with the sentiment of their workforce in a separated world, these organizations are shifting their focus from awareness to action. That’s where “Working From Home in the New Normal” — a new data-driven initiative from SAP, Qualtrics and Thrive Global — comes in. Each day, powered by the Qualtrics XM Platform, we will highlight specific actions or Microsteps employees can take to navigate the new normal. For instance, you’ll get tips on how to balance work and parenting when you and your kids are home during the day, how to work from home with your partner, how to build a work-from-home morning routine that works for you, and much more.
Our goal with this is to create a trusted destination that provides insights and Microsteps we can all take — as individuals, teammates, managers, leaders; and as friends, siblings, parents, and even children.
Our ability to navigate this crisis hinges on how effectively we’re listening to and taking action on data-backed insights. We need to close the gap between our assumptions or past knowledge and what our people are actually experiencing. We already know they need support getting their new home workspaces set up. We know they need I.T. support with video conferencing, Slack, and the communication tools they depend on.
But do we know which moments in their new “normal” are causing them undue stress? Do we know which employees are struggling to unplug and recharge when outlets like going out to dinner aren’t possible? Do we know which employees are suffering from mental health struggles due to anxiety or fearing for the lives and livelihoods of loved ones?
There is no blueprint for how we as individuals, teams, and managers should be acting in this new normal. The crisis is still unfolding, but we have an immediate responsibility and opportunity to gain an even deeper understanding of our most important asset: our people. Every leader and manager should be asking their teams the following questions right now: How are you doing? What do you need? What could we be doing better?
We know that this situation is unpredictable, and that the challenges that come with this are real and unfamiliar. It’s our hope that the Remote Work Pulse will help organizations take action to support their people and that the Microsteps we share each day are helpful as we navigate a situation that’s ever-changing. We will continue to help however we can in the days, weeks, and months ahead. We look forward to navigating this new normal with you.