COVID-19 forced companies to change the way they worked, and many are left questioning whether some of those forced changes are here to stay. Even the most skeptical employers have realized that work-from-home is possible. So what does that mean moving forward?
How will the face of your workplace change?
We predict that companies who return to business-as-usual will lose good people. After being trusted to work from home for six months (and counting), employees may not be excited to return to the way things were. Employees will expect choice and trust.
Employees want flexiblity.
We need to keep in mind that every team member is unique. They are motivated differently, and they are productive in a variety of environments. Just as some employees won’t want to return to in-office arrangements, others may not want to be home full-time. While many tasks can be performed remotely, there are social and collaboration advantages to in-person interactions.
The current set-up with work-from-home is not "normal." Employees may be less productive right now in general, due to COVID-19. Possible reasons for this include increased distractions and elevated stress. Many are trying to navigate full-time jobs with kids at home, are caring for elderly parents, and are facing financial pressure.
Despite these point-in-time strains, employers who are willing to re-evaluate their workplace structure and implement opportunities for increased flexible work arrangements can ultimately realize tremendous financial gains.
A flexible work environment has many advantages:
Decreased Overhead - Fewer employees in the office means lower overall real-estate and equipment requirements.
Increased Productivity - According to IWG’s Global Workplace Survey, 85% of businesses confirm that productivity has increased in their company because of greater flexibility.
Improved Employee Morale - A pre-COVID Workplace Survey conducted by Staples in 2019 states that 90% of employees say allowing for more flexible work arrangements and schedules would increase employee morale.
Stronger Candidate Attraction - Also, in IWG's Global Workplace Survey, 80% of respondents said that when faced with two similar offers, they chose flexible work options.
Are you feeling uneasy about moving forward?
Despite these staggering reasons to continue with remote and flexible work arrangements, many employers are hesitant to permanently restructure their operations because they don’t want to lose control.
The most common fears are:
Productivity decline - How will I know if people at home are productive?
Communication challenges - How do I ensure communication is valid at all levels within the organization?
Client experience - Will clients experience a decline in service due to remote/flexible work arrangements?
Employee engagement - How can I ensure employees remain engaged and motivated when they aren’t in the office?
Reimagining how we work is no easy feat, especially within traditional industries. It means reimagining everything from organization structures to client delivery models to leadership competencies.
But we need to look to the future and stay flexible to attract and retain top talent. Because "It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change." – Charles Darwin
If you want to reimagine your workplace and create a stable future for your company, this guide will help. Click here to download the guide now.