One of the biggest challenges currently facing businesses is returning to work after the pandemic and adapting to a 'new normal.' With remote working trends far-outliving the necessity created by Covid-19, business models, premises, and more are evolving, and management are working hard to keep up.
Here are 5 considerations for transitioning back to work in a post-Covid world.
As a workforce becomes more dynamic and with staff coming and going much more liberally, the right technology is essential for successfully running a hybrid workspace.
With hybrid models, it becomes more important than ever to support collaborations and heightened organization in the workplace. Staff need to be able to easily find other employees, schedule collaborations and book spaces, reserve desk space and more.
There are a multitude of technologies that can assist with the management of hybrid work spaces, such as hoteling and other desk reservation software. Technologies, such as security access control systems, that are integrated with security tools and visitor management systems ensure that all guests of the premises are recorded and provide any relevant access permissions in real time.For remote workers, having the right technology can make all the difference. Here are five hybrid-friendly technologies that can help you be more productive, whether you're working from home or on the go.
With so many workers being forced to work remotely during the pandemic, businesses had no choice but to adapt and create new processes that could support the new structure. While the worst of the pandemic is behind us and staff are able to return to physical work spaces, very few companies are returning to exactly the same workplace models.
To say that the hybrid workplace model is trending right now would be a colossal understatement. Many workers prefer the flexibility it affords them, and businesses are embracing an ongoing hybrid work model to foster optimized productivity from happier employees.
Some companies are adopting a choice-based hybrid working model, empowering staff to choose for themselves where and when they work for optimal productivity. These arrangements may include several mandatory days in the office, although some do allow full choice spanning the whole working week.
Schedule-based hybrid work is also being utilized, allowing management to schedule specific days (whether weekly, monthly or quarterly, for example) whereby management and fellow staff come together for meetings, collaborations, etc.
Another popular choice in hybrid work models are purpose-based, in which companies drill down into deeper analysis of each individual's role and work processes to determine what combination of in-person and remote working will best suit them and optimize productivity.
As remote working trends continue to thrive, more and more workers must focus on ways to maintain a good balance between work and play. The traditional office environment afforded workers a good deal more human interaction than working from home can, so it's vital that management carefully consider how they can incorporate meaningful amenities that assist staff in catching up on some important socialization.
Ideas include cafes, comfortable lounges, outdoor spaces, exercise areas, and healthy eating options. Areas designated for work collaboration also foster greater connectivity between staff members.
The pandemic brought about unprecedented focus on hygiene and general health and well-being, and heightened interest and concern continues across these areas. Organizations must implement clear guidelines and procedures for health and hygiene, and ensure that they are maintained by all. At this stage, many of the measures implemented in response to Covid-19 are still in effect, such as using hand sanitizers, and regularly disinfecting common touchpoints, and these will continue into the future. Employees deserve the peace of mind that their place of work prioritizes their health and safety.
This focus on the health of employees also stretches further into areas of general wellbeing, mindfulness, mental health and more. Many businesses have implemented wellness programs for staff and regularly check in with each team member in a meaningful way.
As if the past few years haven't forced us to become flexible enough, now is not the time to become rigid in any of your expectations. This is and has been a time of tremendous change for everyone, and as we navigate these 'new normal's', it is inevitable that some bumps in the road will crop up.
For example, employees who favor remote working may find that their needs change or that their mental health suffers as a result of limited human interactions,and they need to return to the physical office space. While you must create as many solid plans, schedules and boundaries as you can to facilitate a predictable, reliable and smooth-running working model, flexibility will be key to successfully navigating these early days of so much change.
Implementing and managing a hybrid workplace strategy is a very new concept to many business leaders, and ultimately the very nature of these models requires regular tweaking.
So long as you maintain meaningful communication with your staff and carefully organize schedules and use of space in the most productive way possible, you're on the right track. With careful consideration to integrating the most effective (and future-proofed) technologies necessary to manage your operation, and by ensuring that your workforce is happy, fulfilled and motivated to work productively, it should be relatively smooth sailing.