This will be a great debate in the near future, if it isn’t already.
It is very clear that teams and their managers have really stepped up during lockdown and performed remarkably well working remotely.
They have been very competent, with many companies claiming their productivity has been up. Everyone has been incredibly efficient and achieved great results.
Even senior managers, who previously did not want to entertain flexible and remote working, are admitting it has worked very well, although some still do not buy into the idea.
I have one that keeps telling me that all his people are not working hard enough, as they are outside enjoying themselves tending their gardens.
I did reply, “What really, in the middle of January in the freezing cold and pouring rain? I don’t think so”.
We are still talking.
But what about long-term effectiveness in terms of collaboration across their businesses and being creative with new ideas and creating the vision for the future. This is an area that is now up for debate along with should people return to the working office.
Some people have loved their new freedom of homeworking and have demonstrated they are capable and efficient working from home. Whilst others have hated it and miss the social interaction and the togetherness of the office environment.
As we all know we are all different and will see the subject of ‘Remote v Office Working’ from lots of different perspectives, but how are the managers and HR going to create the right balance? It could get very interesting.
The first thing is to start discussing the subject and how will our teams work in the future, what’s best for them and the business? This isn’t just an HR issue it’s a management issue. How will the future look and how will managers manage everyone effectively? This was always going to happen in the next few years, but the Covid lockdowns have just speeded up the process of a flexible workforce.
Some team members will have personality traits that suit working independently and remotely, whilst others, as mentioned, will need more social interaction. Start thinking of your people and the jobs they do, where do they fit best to suit the team and the team member’s traits?
Naturally, businesses will need to create:
- Home Working/Remote Working Policies
- Create a working from home agreements
- Contracts of employment need to be reviewed and updated, if required, to reflect homeworking/change
- Equipment needs to be regularly assessed
Plus, what is the future culture of the business and how does it want and need to work to meet the ever-changing market and client requirements?
Plus, is consideration being given to attracting and retaining top talent?
Plus, where does trust fit into the organisation’s values and culture?
Act now, no one size fits all, but the sooner you have these conversations the easier the transition will be.
If you would like to discuss these ideas further or need help in facilitating the discussions in your organisation, please do get in touch. David