COVID-19 has giving us a new perspective on the way how we work; a reset of work-life balance as we have not experienced in the recent past. An overwhelming majority of the workforce now believes their employer should embrace some level of working from home. Though people will still need a variety of places to interact: Personal connections and bonding are suffering from a prolonged working from regime, impacting connection to corporate culture and learning.
Therefore, enabling people to choose where to work as they need will enable them to both get their jobs done and build personal connections.
Key Learnings from COVID:
- Employees can be productive anywhere and not just at the office
- Collaboration is at an all-time high: During the pandemic, productive team collaboration has reached new heights using remote collaboration technology
- Individual focus has remained strong: While working from home, employees continue to report the ability to focus when they need to be productive on individual task
- The ability to work with autonomy
- Organisations have learned that they benefit greatly from team members that are self-directed and who manage up and drive results rather than being passengers on this journey.
- Flexibility requires an outcome focus and the choice to work from anywhere is accelerating
- Work should not be a rigid time schedule, but rather emphasis on goals to achieve and tasks to master. The prolonged forced work-from-home time has proven that it is the output and outcome that matter, not that you were still at your desk at 8pm on a Friday.
- The new normal will be a Total Workplace Ecosystem:
- There will be a variety of locations: The workplace will no longer be a single location but an ecosystem of different locations and experiences to support convenience, functionality and well-being
- The office isn’t going anywhere: Balancing the impact of social distancing on density with less office-based headcount demand migth not affect current footprint sizes and offices will continue to thrive but in new ways
- The office has a new purpose: The purpose of the office will be to provide inspiring destinations that strengthen cultural connection, learning, bonding with customers and colleagues, and foster creativity and innovation
- True connection comes from knowing the people behind the work
- Colleges have come to know each other on a whole new level, by being let into each other’s homes. Emotional barriers have been broken down as people witnessed each other on Zoom calls, managing work and home alongside one another and meeting each other’s pets, kids and housemates; seeing inside bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. The clear boundaries between work and home have become blurred and this is often for the better, creating more genuine relationships and greater flexibility in response to different employees’ needs.
- Managers and business leaders have also been innovative in how they support their teams from a distance, with many showing greater concern for employee mental health and wellbeing. As remote workers make up a greater portion of their teams in the future, employers need to continue to facilitate engaging employee onboarding, collaboration and connection.