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COVID-19 Pandemic Puts More Emphasis on Trust as Leadership Quality

  • Trust between employers and employees has long been a factor in healthy workplaces
  • COVID-19 pandemic fuels major shift in workplace culture as companies embrace remote work arrangements and employers need to put greater trust in their employees
  • Companies encouraged to retain strategies that encourage trust instead of simply returning to pre-pandemic models

Heightened trust in the workplace has been a key benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent contribution to the business site Fast Company.

Morten Petersen, the CEO of Worksome, says employees need to trust that an employer is acting fairly and looking out for their interests while employers need to trust that employees are working diligently and ethically. However, employees are also more likely to worry that an employer will be less trusting, causing them to take actions such as going into work while ill instead of taking a sick day.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing many companies to adopt remote work arrangements, and the likelihood that they will continue offering remote work as an option for at least part of the work week, employers have had to put increasing trust in their employees’ abilities. This, in turn, has generally led to greater employee satisfaction and productivity – a trend which has historically held true for company cultures with better trust.

Petersen encourages companies to embrace the shift in company culture to retain the improved trust instead of returning to pre-pandemic models. He said the shift could also lead to more people working under a freelance model, or to companies relying more on freelance employees.

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