Column Vol.1: Maximizing productivity by adapting to new working styles in the post-COVID19.

New lifestyle (new normal)

COVID-19, which has spread worldwide since the beginning of the year in 2020, has changed our lifestyles significantly. However, these changes provide an opportunity to verify the feasibility of new work styles such as WFH (work from home), and it can also be said that the choices of work styles have increased.

Considering risks such as “second and third waves of COVID-19” and “natural disasters”, the increase in work style options will contribute at least to business continuity plan (BCP). Furthermore, by not commuting to work, it is considered that not only protecting employees from COVID19, but also increasing leisure time and reducing stress from commuting.

New issues and risk-based approach

However, with the spread of WFH, new issues have been pointed out, such as the unfamiliar work environment, the stress of not being able to feel free to talk to colleagues, and not get relaxing effect of chatting. Therefore, solving these problems and getting the benefits of WFH will be important factors for productivity improvement in the post-COVID19.

Improving of communication can be a solution to the above issues, but a risk-based perspective is needed to maximize the effect with limited HR resources. We will identify the cause (risk) that lowers productivity and prioritize the allocation of resources (human and time) from places with high risk.

Health is an important factor in productivity

As health management and work style reform are already being promoted, the vitality and productivity of employees are closely related (*). It can be said that continuing to create an environment in which employees can work energetically depends on improving productivity.

Health and productivity

Work style reforms that are resistant to risks

To prepare for the risk of infectious diseases and natural disasters, it is possible that the number of companies and organizations that use WFH daily will increase in terms of ensuring employee safety and business continuity. In this environment, MiHMS may be one of options in terms of activating communication and risk-based actions.

For example, during an online interview, the results of MiHMS may give the conversation a boost. In addition, it is expected that individual awareness of self-management will increase and boost the productivity of the entire team.

MiHMS, which can collect data frequently, can be a useful management tool for creating a workplace that is resistant to risks based on quantitative data.

Making communication more enjoyable based on health

Early detection and early response

A great advantage of MiHMS is that it can detect bad condition in the early stages. Therefore, if people who have a bad condition is checked, there is no need to take actions immediately, and we can take actions for them with a margin in the next 1-2 months.

Since we can take actions at an early stage, the impact on productivity will be minimal, and direct and indirect response costs are expected to be low.

Recovery plan with a margin based on early detection

Conclusion

To improve the productivity of the company in the post-COVID19, improving the vitality of the workplace corresponding to new working styles is important factor. In this article, I have described risk-based measures, the relationship between workplace health and productivity, creating a workplace that is resistant to risks, and early detection and early response. And MiHMS is described as a tool for leading these correspondences to success. Currently, we are collecting data with MiHMS, and as the next step, we are developing further solutions such as correlation analysis of mental health and business event, predictive model of business event related to risk, etc. I have omitted the specific actions to improve mental health in this article, so I would like to touch on another opportunity.

* 黒田2018, 健康資本投資と生産性, 日本労働研究雑誌2018年6月号 / Kuroda2018, Health capital investment and productivity, Japan Labor Issues (June 2018)