Hybrid working, Zoom, Google Teams and remote working. All terms that very few of us had ever heard of before Covid-19 hit the world. But with things (hopefully) getting back to some semblance of normality the working landscape has changed since it all began. People have had to work from home, but one question that has arisen is; do we need the office anyway?
With new working dynamics, and workforces returning to the office, to some of your employees it may seem a daunting prospect to return after working from home for so long. However, with change comes opportunity however, options are available for your workforce to ensure a successful balance and approach to BAU. So, we’ve provided some helpful guidance that you may not have considered.
Do We Need An Office?
Building relationships, friendships and trust whilst at work is beneficial not only to the workforce but also the management. These natural links and rapid problem-solving solutions are sewn into the fabric of a face-to-face working environment. Communication is vital when proceeding with home/hybrid working to ensure these relationships are kept and built.
The Best of Both Worlds
The future may well lie in hybrid working, with more of the workforce working from home. If this is the path that you choose to go down as an employer, then certain changes within your business would need to alter. The recruitment of new IT staff for example – this could be be further enticed by the offer of hybrid working, and job descriptions need to reflect this. Another aspect of home working and a hybrid future would be the use of equipment and access to files whilst working from home. This would need to be looked at from a financial point of view and included into any budget.
Mental Health Is Crucial
Working from home is in its essence lonely. There is limited human contact throughout a working day, and to enable a working practice that works, an open space needs to be available for staff to talk candidly. Some employees are sociable and benefit from the camaraderie that an office brings and demanding to work from home could affect their mental state. On the other hand, some employees thrive in their own space, bear in mind it is not one rule for all when the working landscape changes.
Help Employees to Focus and Relax
9-5, is there such a thing? An office environment is specifically set up for work; computers, resources, colleagues and paperwork are just a few of the things associated within an office. When you think of home, it is comfort, brews and maybe some distraction (kids, pets). Encourage your home workers to set up a space which is productive with as little distractions as possible, encourage them to also set schedules and routines that work for them, and encourage them to leave their workspace or home for some time for themselves.
Your organisation needs to adapt to issues that can, and do arise when you are working from home, as managing time and productivity rates when at home can differ to when you are in a space which is not yours.
Employers Can Make It Work
Bringing back people to the office can, and will work for many of your employees, even on a flexi timetable. But remember, you control the output whilst in professional workplace, working from home brings its own challenges, and also its rewards. It is up to you to blend the needs of each employee on their requirements when opening up your doors again.
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