Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, organisations across the world have had to build resilience in order to not only survive, but also ensure that their employees remain engaged, supported, and able to do their jobs.
In July 2021, as the world begins to open back up again, this will inevitably mean a further change to the HR landscape, with companies potentially having to manage both a physical and mobile workforce at the same time.
Shift in the work landscape
As we all know, there was a massive shift in the work landscape at the start of 2020 and this has continued longer than anyone anticipated, into the summer of 2021. Now as we look towards the lifting of all restrictions in the UK in mid-July, another huge change will come about when the work from home mandate is lifted and offices may see their employees venturing back in with the desire to get back to ‘normal’ life. However, some may still feel unsafe or have seen additional benefits whilst working from home, such as no commute, more time spent with family and so on. The question will be how can companies manage this completely new hybrid way of working and the different approaches employees may choose to take?
Wellbeing apps and programmes
We have seen a huge rise in the number of Wellbeing apps and programmes offered in the marketplace and this may well continue, as the duty of care towards employees remains hugely important. Companies, however, have to be mindful that one size approach will not fit all, so will have to be agile and flexible to what their employees want and need at this stage, whilst still ensuring one consistent experience for them across the board.
Colette Philp, HR Director, SD Worx discussed this topic in the latest SD Worx webinar saying: “We have to re-examine our own flexible working policy and ask ourselves certain questions. We need to look at things like what is working for our business, what isn’t, what our employees want, and we also need to think about how we attract and retain top talent at the same time.”
Multiple flexible working strategies?
Does the answer therefore lie in multiple flexible working strategies? Good businesses understand that happiness of its employees is vital for its success, but how you can go about creating something that is fair and works for everyone? This is where companies will need to find the balance and be agile enough to make changes as the year progresses. Flexibility and clear communication with employees will the key, whether that’s making changes to working hours, location, or a combination of the two.
Opportunities for the future
Bob Rehill, founder of HRTech247 argues that in the past, company policies were driven by what the company wanted but now there has been a reversal, “Our policies need to be driven by our employees, we have to listen to them and adapt and enforce policies that meet the demands of our organisation.” In addition, these policies need to be flexible, giving employees what they need but also allowing HR leaders to implement changes that support the demands of the business. “The world out there is changing and working remotely has been a great way for companies to leverage technology. We have proven that it works, and it has given organisations a great opportunity to discuss what they want to do going forward.”
As the year progresses, offices reopen and life begins to return to normal, it is clear that this is a great opportunity for companies to develop policies and strategies that benefit both them and their employees for the future.
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