Creating economic recovery and growth after Covid-19 is at the forefront of our minds.
It is undeniable that the pandemic has changed how we live and work in ways that have been altering our behaviour at home and at work. Many organisations changed their business model to survive during Covid-19. Some of the changes in business models and consumer behaviour are here to stay. But which ones? Time will tell.
As an HR consultant, I work with SMEs and support them to achieve their vision through their people. Businesses will recover and grow post-pandemic by increasing investment and revenue, reducing costs, encouraging innovation, and supporting workforce readiness. The latter two – encouraging innovation and supporting workforce readiness – are particularly interesting to me. In the last few months, I’ve been supporting organisations prepare their workforce to go back to working from the office. Most of them have chosen to use a hybrid model, at least for the transition period. Some of them strongly believe in the hybrid model and plan to embed it in the way they work. However, most of them chose it because their staff didn’t want to return full-time to the office. There are numerous reasons why people may not wish to return to working full-time from the office – anxiety to share the space with other people due to Covid-19, health-related reasons, a desire to spend less money and time commuting, or the nature of the role not requiring them to be in an office are just a few of them. Understanding why your people don’t want to return to the office is essential in order to put in place the necessary support to ease their transition from WfH to WfO.
The managers I’ve supported during the last few months say that innovation and creativity will suffer if their staff are not sharing the same physical space and that remote working adds to their workload in terms of line management. Their staff say that they work better from home in terms of productivity. It also helps them with their overall wellbeing and work-life balance. Cutting the monthly cost of commuting and the time spent on the tube/train/car plays an important role in their decision to push their employers to accept remote or hybrid working.
It is essential to remember there is no one-size-fits-all. I encourage my clients to consult with their staff and take into consideration their business needs and the nature of the jobs in the organisation before deciding what’s necessary for their business to recover and grow post-pandemic. For many, hybrid working is just a transition from full-time remote working to full-time office work. Encouraging people to come back to the office while keeping them motivated can be a challenge in some cases.
If we are looking for economic recovery and growth post Covid-19 we must focus on what works best for our own organisations. It may be a case of trial and error. Upskilling and reskilling the workforce to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and business model must continue to be a priority. Creating the right environment for people to use their skills, expertise, and creativity to innovate and perform at their best is vital for the future of the organisation post-pandemic.
Do you need help to support your people transition from WfH to WfO? Give us a shout!