After enduring what can only be called one of the most severe pandemics in history, it seems as if we are possibly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Restrictions are slowly being lifted, vaccines have rolled out and many experts agree that the world is optimistically managing COVID-19.
However, it is important to note that the concept of "business as usual" will need to be modified because of the outbreak itself. Organizations must be able to appreciate the challenges that lie ahead and the unprecedented opportunities for growth.
Redesigning the workplace is no easy task. However, changes will be necessary to accommodate for recent events. One primary concern involves fostering motivation daily. This is even more important when we remember that some employees may have been away from the office for a year or more.
How can this be accomplished? First and foremost, a sense of positivity should be present. Managers must appreciate the needs and concerns of their employees. Embracing a forward-looking strategy is also essential to foster a more flexible approach to tasks. Likewise, it is prudent to mention that creating a more collaborative environment will have a massive impact on individual efforts. Simply stated, firms of the future should proactively communicate with all employees, regardless of their status.
Thanks to past and present COVID restrictions, we are now witnessing the birth of "hybrid workplaces." Telecommuting has become commonplace. The Internet of Things (IoT) provides instantaneous communications methods when away from the traditional office. Workers are therefore beginning to redefine the traditional work-life balance.
Social activities and interpersonal commitments may soon take precedence over the traditional 9-to-5 workday. Managers, therefore, need to adjust their policies accordingly. They should discuss remote working options with all employees while asking for feedback along the way. It will be easier to create flexible and user-friendly schedules in this manner.
The notion of a hybrid workplace has been present for quite some time. The only major difference is that COVID has caused the process itself to speed up dramatically. Thankfully, most organizations have already experienced a moderate level of success. A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that a staggering 83 percent of all businesses are pleased with the outcomes of this shift.
Employee onboarding and retention are equally important to highlight. The pandemic has caused many individuals to re-evaluate their views on what defines leadership. They are now placing a greater emphasis on personal worth, motivation, and recognition than ever before. Thus, management must take the appropriate steps to ensure that the workforce remains content.
This begins with the onboarding process. Candidates who are presented with a clear picture of the business and its in-house culture are more likely to be interested in what a specific position offers. Targeted engagement strategies [such as emphasizing teamwork while rewarding individual efforts] will likewise improve retention rates. If employees feel their needs are being catered to, loyalty should not present an issue.
The Health and Safety Executive [HSE] has always placed great importance upon safety in the workplace. This is even more relevant now. While the worst hopefully is over, likely, employees will still be concerned about what steps are being taken to ensure their well-being.
What can managers do to illustrate their commitment to a safe workplace? Here are some suggestions:
Therefore, company culture within the future of work will involve more targeted and transparent health and safety solutions.
Company culture and productivity are inextricably linked. However, we also need to look at the big picture. The suggestions outlined above are not meant to be temporary. The chances are high that these changes will impact the modern working environment for years to come.
Therefore, management needs to develop a concise "game plan" from the beginning. The good news is that the recent pandemic has given organizations of all sizes a unique opportunity to enhance their in-house culture. In turn, this can help to foster a positive and sustainable long-term brand identity.
Adapting in the future of work will naturally present novel challenges. However, companies that can appreciate the options at their disposal will be more likely to make the right decisions at the right times. This will benefit managers, employees, and ultimately, the customers themselves.