Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 in different countries across the globe, there were numerous companies that had to send their employees home with a laptop in their hands and a prayer in their minds. Thanks to the rising vaccination drives and subsiding COVID-19 cases, the thoughts of returning to the traditional office regime seems more possible.
However, considering the scare and anxiety that has been created among people about the coronavirus, will people move back to their office buildings and sit on office furniture, even when you think they’re safe and secured?
According to the members of the Harvard Business School, they think that the traditional workplaces, the ones we used to know, are dead! Not only has remote work been preferred by employees, the pandemic also gave birth to a new way of working from homes, may be permanently. How should you prepare for the ‘new normal’? Here are some tips.
Give priority to face time within the office
Managers and employers will require adjusting to the changes in work styles in the post COVID era. After enjoying the flexibility of working virtually, having to invest less time in commutation and more time with pets and family, employees will crave for the comeback of social connections within office premises. There are many who’ll enjoy occasional visits to the office for establishing real-time connections with other colleagues.
Do some honest confessions with your employees
Every responsible senior officer will love to hear from the employees about what sort of changes they want to see in their offices in the post-COVID era. You will get some of the honest confessions from your employees who can tell you how they’ve changed due to the pandemic and the lockdown. Employers can also find out how employees would like their offices to be.
Here are few tips on how to initiate an honest conversation:
- What are the things you want to learn? Make sure that the conversation focuses on the main question.
- Share the truth and make it safe for all the team members. If there is a team of eight members along with team leaders led by a senior manager, they can learn the truth through interviews held with employees all over the company.
- Diagnose the issues and develop an action plan. Decide what are the practices and policies that need to be implemented in the post-COVID world.
- Execute the changes and keep repeating the process. Keep a constant tab on progress to learn about unintended and unexpected outcomes and make rectification whenever required.
Opt for a flexible approach
COVID-19 has led to increased adoption of remote work like ‘work-from-home’ or ‘work-from-anywhere’ – a form of remote work that became popular before the pandemic. As the adoption of ‘work-from-anywhere’ will most likely increase, it will also give birth to remote arrangements that will become a normal at global workplaces.
Hence it has become a necessity to create hybrid remote workplaces that permit geographic flexibility and work-from-anywhere. These arrangements should be designed in such a manner that teams can physically be together during times of colocation and encourage sharing of knowledge and proper communication.
Having said all of that, it is worth mentioning that there is no one-size-fits-all for all. Different conditions may call for varied approaches. However, when you are the employer and you have to adjust your office with the changing times, you should take the above-mentioned steps. Make sure your employees work happily and comfortably in whichever arrangement you make for them in your office post pandemic.