Has work as we knew it changed forever?
With Premier Andrews hardening his stance on people returning to work, Victorians will continue to WFH where they can, until the end of June. Many of us have been doing so since about the middle of March. That will mean 15 weeks until June 30.
So how is that going for all of us?
Covid-19 has certainly accelerated more flexible working trends. Many surveys have revealed a strong desire by employees to maintain some WFH component to their post-COVID routine. See article here revealed that 80.8% of employees surveyed felt that they were as, if not more, productive WFH compared to working from an office. Catalyst research, here, suggests that many are keen to continue with certain aspects of lockdown, including working from home with some 43% of families enjoying quality time together. But this is not a completely new concept with 34.4 % of employees WFH at least one day a week pre-COVID and the McCrindle Insights Report research gathered way back in 2013, (See article here) had a whopping 78% of us wishing to have a WFH option as a part of their regular working routine. 36% of those prefer the office as the predominant location of their work, with 24% considering a 50/50 split between work and home. 40% of us are preferring a permanent home base.
Are we really looking at the difference between how introverts and extraverts prefer to work? Stats support this assertion with extroverts 32% more likely to want to work from the office. Introverts are 30% more productive working from home.
So, is this what the new workplace will look like with introverts happily and productively WFH and the office premises full of extraverts? This aside, the look and feel of a post COVID workplace raises more questions than answers.
- How will flexible working policy impact a company’s culture?
- Will team camaraderie only be achieved using technology?
- Will management skills shift to an exclusive outcomes delivery focus rather than how and when tasks are completed?
- Will office space diminish completely – especially if organisations take Twitter’s lead and WFH forever?
- Is Hot-desking finally dead?
- Has our daily commute changed forever?
- How do we manage increased OHS and well-being risk as workplaces shift from office to home?
It’s an organisational nightmare as return to work transition plans are rolled out as quickly as all the WFH policies were a few months ago!
These questions and more make for heady discussions when I speak to our broad range of clients. Most seem to be developing a blended approach to accommodate flexible working options for their employees. Maintaining social distancing measures dictate that 100% of the workforce cannot be in the same building at the same time. Rotating shifts of employees seem to be the general solution. The 6 Feet Office (see here ), office design concept could quickly become the new office layout out of necessity rather than choice as we adapt to a COVID-normal.
What I really want to understand though, is just how do you get your employees to the 40th floor, safely observing social distancing, using the lift? Slowly I guess, either that or a lot of people are going to get really fit, really quickly!
On another note a big shout out to the RSCA for facilitating a great one-day virtual conference ‘Reform Recruitment’ a timely, realistic and uplifting experience delivered to your desktop #loveyourwork
And while I am thanking people another big shout out to Adele Last of CareerLasso who delivered another great webinar on Wednesday this time dealing with how to virtually onboard new hires. Watch the replay here .
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