Lifting of coronavirus restrictions opens new workplace horizons

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In association with Great Place to Work

Not sure where there is, but we are nearly there? Restrictions have been lifted in society as confidence grows that we may be finally through the worst of the pandemic. Perhaps optimism has come at the perfect time to combat frustration and fatigue among people.

Maintaining, building and sustaining your work culture over the last couple of years has not been all plain sailing and has come with many challenges. Frontline workers in retail and healthcare have had to perform at their best and show resilience to come to work every day. Leadership in hospitality have faced massive uncertainty around reopening and trading guidelines. For many workplaces, operating in a virtual setting for such a long period of time, and maintaining energy levels needed to sustain work culture has been tiresome.

Despite all of that great workplaces are full of great people who “make the best” of what they are facing into and navigate the challenges as best they can. They aspire to create an environment that balances performance and wellbeing. They are committed to improving their approach to people and building the trust levels between employees and leaders.

For more than 20 years we have being supporting organisations to build great cultures. The world of work has experienced significant changes over that time where people are seen less and less as an asset, and more as an integral part of the organisations performance. More and more great cultures are focusing on the whole person when it comes to performance and leaders are interested in building real connections with their team rather than a command and control approach.

There is no doubt that virtual working has come with its benefits – personally I don’t miss the constant traffic jams and I enjoy hearing from my team and clients that they are enjoying family moments that they may have not experienced in a normal office 9am to 5pm setting. The downside to constant remote working is the challenge to build a clear divide between work and home life and replacing the energy and speed of decision you get from being together with people.

Emerging possibilities

I believe the pandemic has presented us with the greatest opportunity to learn and experience a new way of working than ever before. It is one giant working experiment that has changed people’s mindset around how they work and what is possible forever.

The next few months will be interesting as organisations (those where virtual is even an option) make decisions on how they will work – will it be back to the office as normal pre-pandemic or will it be a hybrid setting that allows more of a balance in employees’ lives. Indeed many of our clients have already decided that in the short term (the next year or so) they will adopt a hybrid model, perhaps three days out of the office and two days in. This could work once we use the two days in the office wisely. When we are together we should collaborate, rebuild meaningful connections, work on problem solving. We should not forget that for many new people it will be the first time they have met their colleagues in person and they say first impressions last.

There is no doubt it’s going to be interesting to see how workplaces collaborate with their employees on their way of working. One thing that remains certain is the organisations that continue to focus on work culture, despite the setting, will be those that navigate the next year or so better than most.

Note: For 20 years we have partnered with so many organisations committed to improving their work cultures. For their partnership I would like to thank them and we look forward to partnering with you into the future.


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