Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Organisational Culture

Introduction

In the recent pandemic era, the organisational activities and human resource management are changing due to the remote working practice, maintaining social distancing and dock down. COVID 19 cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, which has been found in humans, discovered in Wuhan, China in 2019 (Seetharaman, 2020). Some of the primary symptoms of COVID 19 infected person are fever, dizziness, breathlessness, headache, dry cough, loss of smell and taste. The government of different international countries face difficulties to protect this due to huge spread and increasing death rate. Mainly lock down and social distancing were the initial strategy to stop spreading virus which has direct impacts on the job market, organisational activities and overall economy of the countries. The study mainly focuses on analysing the impacts of this pandemic on the organisational culture, working practice and employee’s productivity.

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Discussing challenges of work from home and its disproportionate effect on workers and different sectors

In order to follow the government guidelines of maintaining social distancing and lock down, the employees are instructed to work from home so that the organisational performance and productivity can be constant for ensuring economic activities (Seetharaman, 2020). The workers in such condition face several difficulties to conduct remote working activities from their home. Lack of having appropriate system and workstation is the major issue, where the workers are supported from the organisational senior member. Distraction at home, lack of communication and poor cooperation are other major challenges which hamper the working practice of the employees. The worker productivity is being hampered in such critical situation, where they face problems in meeting deadlines due to poor communication and lack of team working activities. Overtime and lack of work life balance are other issues for which the employees are not feeling valued and motivated to work (Cepel et al., 2020).

There are different sectors, where the disproportionate impacts for such pandemic era. The online service sector is expanding, where the employees are working from home and conduct their job roles through accessing computerized system and smartphones. Hence, the e-commerce services are expanding across the market, but the production and manufacturing sectors are affected negatively. It is not possible to provide remote working facilities to the workers at production sites. Hence, the organisations are working with half numbers of employees for maintaining social distancing and this leads to labour retrenchment. Most of the people become jobless in such condition (He and Harris, 2020). There is stagnant in government recruitment and government job where the employees become de-motivated to work efficiently. Due to poor demand of the customers in market the supply chain and distribution network become hampered where huge numbers of employees become unemployed. Hence, it is challenging for the staff to work remotely and maintain their productivity under excessive pressure.

Exploring the possible impacts of the pandemic on organisational culture

Organisational culture is mainly the collection of values, expectations and practices that guide and inform the actions of the team members. The managers try to share the organisational vision and goal with the employees to lead towards achieving the future success. the employees are also working under effective corporate governance where the organisational culture depends on internal structure of the firm, employees value creation, transparency, respect and dignity, equality and diversity management, meeting the expectations of the staff and developing ethical practice for meeting the strategic vision of the firm (He and Harris, 2020). In such pandemic era, the organisational culture is being hampered due to working from home. As per Hofstede culture, the major dimensions are power distance, collectivism vs. individualism, uncertainty avoidance, power distribution, long term or short run orientation and indulgence.

After such COVID 19 situation, most of the workers are working from home, which changes the organisational culture through equal power distance as well as equality and diversity management, where male and female member are treated equally (Cepel et al., 2020). The collectivist power cannot be fulfilled rather such working from home practice increases individualist goals. The employees are working remotely and they aim at meeting their individual job responsibility (Dirani et al., 2020). The collective orientation and team working practice become hampered in such pandemic situation. The working process becomes flexible where the managers support the workers to work as per their convenience to meet the deadlines. However, transparency and accountability cannot be managed well under such situation which further leads to mistrust and misunderstanding among the staff members. Managing change is a critical factor due to internal conflicts and resistance to change. Working from home situation raise this issue where the workers do not accept the internal changes and it leads to further conflicts.

Explaining how business communication is affected by the pandemic

Due to such pandemic situation, most of the employees in the company are working from home, and they focus on virtual communication for meeting their job responsibilities. Many digital tools are there such as telephone, smartphone chat, ICT and organisational employees portal, online conference, Skype meeting etc. that help remote the teams to stay connected; but, these tools can lack the personalisation of face-to-face interaction (Al-Omoush, Simón-Moya and Sendra-García, 2020). Due to lack of face to face communication, the workers are not meeting the senior managers personally and it raises misunderstanding and mistrust among them. Communication failures also confuse staff responsibilities and affect the deadline of the projects. There is no such transparency and accountability in sharing information and data (Al-Omoush, Simón-Moya and Sendra-García, 2020). The benefits of such virtual communication are such as cost effective way of sharing information, increased productivity, no unnecessary meetings and healthy working environment. However, there are some disadvantages of virtual communication such as lack of trust, reduced team collaboration, hidden technical cost and social isolation. These further affect the employee’s performance and overall productivity of the team in long run (Ngoc Su et al., 2021). Technical faults, poor Wi-Fi connection further lead to miscommunication and non-cooperation. The team members cannot directly interact with the senior management team to clear their doubts and there is no such continuous assistance for the staff to work efficiently. Through the conferences and general meeting are arranged through video calling and voice calling facilities, the full potential of the employees re not there. This leads to lack of team developmental activities, where the employees fail to work as per their responsibilities and overall quality of work is being hampered in long run.

Address the impacts of the pandemic on labour market, focusing on labour demand and on productivity of labour

The COVID 19 condition directly affects the labour market, in terms of labour demand, wage and social protection. The social protection and meeting the needs such as safety and security, belongingness as well as self-actualisation and self-esteem needs are not met under such critical situation. On the other hand, the wage is also hampered, where some of the employees are getting half of their payments and some are paid on the basis of their working activities. Hence, there is no such structured salary and wage for the employees (Mao et al., 2021). This affects the job security and hampers the workers remunerations in long run. On the other hand, the demand of the labourer become low for which the unemployment rate is increasing over this period of time. For example, the OECD unemployment rate reached to 8.8% in such critical phase. Unemployment was driven by substantial increases in countries such as the United States, and Canada, due to business closure. Labour retrenchment is high due to lack of demand in labour market. On the other hand, productivity of the labour is being affected negatively; due to lack of work life balance, mental stress and excessive work pressure (Gigauri, 2020). The works are not able to meet their deadlines and there is huge work pressure which is not manageable by the workers. Hence, the overall performance and organisational productivity are hampered under COVID 19 situation under poor management, lack of job security and lack of motivational practice.

Conclusion and recommendations

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Through the analysis, it has been explored that, the communication gap and poor organisational culture are the major issues in this pandemic era, where the managers and organisational leader fail to manage the employee under the remote working practice. There are communication gap, poor cooperation and lack of partnership working practice due to remote working and virtual communication that leads to misunderstanding, poor performance and mistrust. The labour market is affected negatively with increasing unemployment rate, decreasing the performance and productivity of the staff, high labour retrenchment and poor management. Over the period of time, the current market situation is stable with low death rate across the globe and it is the responsibility of the government of the international countries to manage international trade. The management team must hire the employees as per their experience and capabilities and continuously guide them of better performance. Job security as well as structured salary must be designed well to encourage the employee’s creativity and influence them to maximise their productivity to achieve the organisational success. Proper organisational structure and corporate governance must be developed through open communication, partnership working practice and trust where the employees can get suitable atmosphere to work and contribute as per their abilities.

Reference List

  • Al-Omoush, K.S., Simón-Moya, V. and Sendra-García, J., 2020. The impact of social capital and collaborative knowledge creation on e-business proactiveness and organizational agility in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 5(4), pp.279-288.
  • Cepel, M., Gavurova, B., Dvorský, J. and Belas, J., 2020. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the perception of business risk in the SME segment. Journal of International Studies.
  • Dirani, K.M., Abadi, M., Alizadeh, A., Barhate, B., Garza, R.C., Gunasekara, N., Ibrahim, G. and Majzun, Z., 2020. Leadership competencies and the essential role of human resource development in times of crisis: a response to Covid-19 pandemic. Human Resource Development International, 23(4), pp.380-394.
  • Gigauri, I., 2020. Effects of Covid-19 on Human Resource Management from the Perspective of Digitalization and Work-life-balance. International Journal of Innovative Technologies in Economy, (4 (31)).
  • He, H. and Harris, L., 2020. The impact of Covid-19 pandemic on corporate social responsibility and marketing philosophy. Journal of business research, 116, pp.176-182.
  • Mao, Y., He, J., Morrison, A.M. and Andres Coca-Stefaniak, J., 2021. Effects of tourism CSR on employee psychological capital in the COVID-19 crisis: from the perspective of conservation of resources theory. Current Issues in Tourism, 24(19), pp.2716-2734.
  • Ngoc Su, D., Luc Tra, D., Thi Huynh, H.M., Nguyen, H.H.T. and O’Mahony, B., 2021. Enhancing resilience in the Covid-19 crisis: lessons from human resource management practices in Vietnam. Current Issues in Tourism, pp.1-17.
  • Seetharaman, P., 2020. Business models shifts: Impact of Covid-19. International Journal of Information Management, 54, p.102173.

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