The disconnect in the workforce runs far deeper than employers would like to believe. Management teams are eager to get back to in-person interaction while the majority of the workforce is not. If not already, employee disengagement levels will hit an all-time low, very soon.
Only a select few global events in history have been significant enough to afford the world an opportunity to fundamentally rethink or reimagine how we do things. These great events have not only changed how we do things, but also how we view things. The Industrial Revolution in the 1800’s, World War ll during the 1940’s, and personal and industrial computing in the 1990’s, are the only three events of such magnitude in the modern world.
The year 2020 presented the fourth event with the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced people around the world to work from home and live in isolation as a means to survive.
Rebalanced work-and-family life
This large-scale evacuation of the workplace gave us the opportunity to rebalance work and family life. It proved to the majority that better and more efficient work can be done outside the physical structures of an office. With employees working during their own best-suited timelines, employees are producing more work in less time and spending the gained hours on personal and family matters. A win for both business and its people.
The widespread success of the COVID-19 vaccinations created the opportunity for the complete re-imagination of what the future of work will look like. The combination of remote and on-premise work gave rise to the new era of hybrid work. The clear split between employees that work remotely, on-premise, or perhaps both, is causing a tremendous disconnect and disengagement among teams.
Employees are re-evaluating
Employees are unsure of what they want and are re-evaluating their relationship with work as a whole. As a result, the fragility and uncertainty of the workforce is a major threat to organisations.
In larger organisations, executive teams are expecting their key people to be in the office two to three days a week. Even though working remotely proved to be effective beyond expectations, it is crippling organisational culture and disconnecting teams. This creates a great need for a partial ‘back to normal’ at the office. Just enough to keep teams connected while capitalising on the benefits and flexibility of working remotely.
Employers need to know their people
Working from home through the stress of the pandemic is driving fatigue, difficulty in disconnecting from work, deterioration of social networks, and weakening of employees’ sense of belonging. Employers need to make a serious effort to understand the challenges, wants, and needs of their people. A quick survey of employees will show there are still more questions than answers amidst these uncharted waters.
Organisations that are yet to go through a proper reimagining process for the hybrid working environment, are already suffering. Things are not going the way they should and they cannot pinpoint the roots of the problems. The process of reimagining work should deliver an environment that is tailored to the uniqueness of the organisation and its people. A scenario where both organisation and people reap maximum benefits is certainly achievable with the right strategy, processes, and digital tools managed by a consulting firm who are experts in the field.
Creating a hybrid work environment in any organisation is a very complex task that should be done by professionals. It is not a task for executive teams to design and implement internally. There are leading consulting firms that make it their business to live in the future.
Underestimating, overlooking, or delaying a shift to the hybrid work environment would be an expensive decision, in currency and in talent.
If you would like to talk about hybrid working solutions in your world of work, let’s have a quick coffee over a video call.
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