Have we forgotten about employee satisfaction?

Struggling to stay afloat amidst the chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic and various other economic issues has been debilitating for many businesses. In an era when employers have had to think of the rapidly depreciating rupee, the overall economic climate, falling interest rates and dwindling export opportunities, probably very few company-top rungs have had the resources to ensure that their employees are happy and satisfied in their work. However, despite every major challenge that has been thrown our way, this is certainly something that must not be overlooked simply because high employee turnover can be the silent killer to an already overburdened workplace.

In recent times, common stories that have surfaced from the woodwork have been about the stress of working from home. While the pandemic compelled many companies to close down office spaces and request employees to get their work done from home, many found this the most challenging part of their lives. The blurring of lines between work and home, the drain on personal resources such as WIFI, electricity and personal computers, the stress of balancing the responsibilities at home and office have taken its toll on employee morale. Sadly, many company managements have failed to identify this obviously-concealed phenomena as an aspect of employee sustainability that needs to be addressed.

The truth is, people crave people. Even the most introverted employee needs to be directed, feel appreciated and enjoy the benefits of networking with like-minded individuals. Companies that do not lend priority to this are slowly going down a rabbit hole from which they may not re-emerge.

Surprisingly, the solution to this problem has presented itself through co-working spaces, a concept that has rapidly picked up in Sri Lanka. Especially now, with the incessant power cuts and lack of access to Wi-Fi and related infrastructure, many startups and established business have opted to rent out furnished co-working spaces that facilitate employee interaction and work efficiency. This, in turn, has led to higher employee morale that breeds happier, more satisfied employees who work better and quicker.

It is indeed, quite amazing how many co-working spaces have been established in Sri Lanka over the past year, of different sizes at different locations and on various budgets. All these have boosted company success stories and allowed for a more integrated approach to working alongside others when necessary. The flexibility that allows for employees to come in to work only when required has been an added bonus that has helped them feel more secure in their job and enjoy a greater level of autonomy in their work.

They say that in every dark cloud there is a silver lining. In Sri Lanka’s current situation, co working spaces are just that. They have allowed for startups, businesses and companies to move forward amidst the challenges of the outside world, and the value of that truly cannot be measured. When employees are happy, half the battle is won. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a fool’s paradise.

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