There’s no doubt the COVID 19 Pandemic has changed our way of life, our thinking and the way we work (or want to work). Some say that there has been a positive impact on workplace culture since the lockdown with the ability for many to now work from home. Others say that working from home can be isolating & home v work priorities are now competing.
Many businesses have had to adapt to Government Guidelines which has resulted in much reduced staffing levels as the level of customers the business can service has decreased such as cafes, restaurants & bars sometimes making it uneconomical to trade. Others, like ours, there has been largely no change to. Retail have adapted to social distancing measures and keeping their stores safe. Building and Construction are largely unaffected. Mining cut down the number of non-essential workers on the mine sites which slowed the industry down and made it more difficult for contractors. Whatever your industry, some adaption has had to be made.
Reports say that working from home has caused staff to reconsider their thoughts on home/work balance with their own lives, family and health taking on different significance and where working from home was not considered previously for the employee, it may mean something entirely different now. As an employer, it is time to consider each of your employees and what they consider important and having more conversations about their expectations and whether these can be accommodated in the business.
Before a continued working from home arrangement can work for your team, a strategy for keeping the culture with your team is extremely important. Creating a place where your team can come together and meet regularly to collaborate, share information, communicate and solve problems and build relationships with each other will ensure that the team don’t feel isolated and lonely or not actively engaged with the business. In between, daily catchups by Zoom, Teams or Phone Calls can ensure team cohesion, clear communication and the business goals are being strived to.
A flexible workplace always requires trust in your people but also trust that the business leaders will continue to lead even if the team aren’t physically present in the office. Creating an open dialogue that is upfront, honest and dependable will allow success for both the business and the team and ensure the flexibility afforded still creates alignment with the business goals and standards.
Consider your team and which of them will be more engaged with your business if they were offered more flexible conditions and what your business may be able to accommodate.