Cultural Change Necessary for Work Life Balance during Global Pandemic
Contributed by: Corporate Communication and Public Relations Branch, Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
A change in culture is believed to be the solution to adapting to the “new” normal during and after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Several experts spanning the medical, human resource policy and psychological fields underscored the relevance of adjusting workplace culture to adapt to the reality of COVID-19.
These perspectives were shared at a Virtual Table Talk Forum hosted by the Corporate Communication and Public Relations Branch at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service recently.
Organizational and Industrial Psychologist, Dr. Margarett Barnett commented that she believes it is critical that there is a change in mindset. “The first thing that we need to do is to rearrange our mental models about what work is and what supervision and what control is”.
President of the Human Resource Association of Jamaica, Mrs. Lois Walters added that a systematic method of assessing deliverables needs to be implemented to measure the performance of employees. She mentioned the importance of using technological tools for task and performance management for persons who wish to work from home during this pandemic, as there are organizations that are retrofitting offices to meet public health regulations for COVID-19.
Chief Executive Officer of Essential Medical Services, Dr. Ijah Thompson, agreed that self-care should be incorporated in the change of workplace culture. Dr. Thompson said it was time to look at new coping strategies. “If we never exercised before, now is the time to improve our exercise routine. Now is the time to look at how we relate to others to spread the load that we are feeling”. He posited that the stressors we experience can be viewed as opportunities for growth.