WORKING FROM HOME IS WORKING...FOR NOW

Change, as we’re so often saying and reading, is now a constant. If anything the debate has shifted not on ‘if’ but how quickly.

A CHANGING WORKPLACE

The pandemic has turned the world of work on its head — and specifically the workplace. Overnight, most office-based

roles became home-based. Almost a year on, and the debate rages just how good a thing that it. But a ‘thing’ it has certainly become. 

WHEN WILL THE ‘NEW NORM’ BECOME THE NEW NORM

I have lost count of people using the term, ‘the new normal’ and have to take issue with the term. And that’s because we haven’t reached it yet — should it even exist. Workers worldwide now faced with uncertainty and guidelines that change frequently. Some companies have stated the old way was best and intend to return to the way as soon as possible, whilst others have embraced home-working as an indefinite future.

SO, WHO IS RIGHT?

The truth is that the jury ought to still be out on that one. I suspect that companies that decide the traditional office will prevail will have a challenge in recruiting the best talent going forward. Not in resourcing per se, unemployment will afford them breathing space. But will the top talent want to commute daily, when so many other companies offer far greater flexibility? And let’s not be so sure that a 100% virtual office is the best solution. No human interaction is not everyone’s cup of tea, and may not be the most productive way of working.

IS COVID THE ONLY CULPRIT?

The truth is that these workplace disruptors are nothing new. There has been an increasing move away from the 9-5 office grind since the turn of the century. And people, as much as technology, have been making the change happen. A recent study showed that just 1% of remote workers want to go back to working in the office full-time — with a four days at home, one day in the office the preferred option. And employees have a habit of voting with their feet.

“We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

WHERE WILL IT ALL END?

By now, you’ll gather I believe such a prediction is a folly. But as we navigate our way through the crisis, we need to be ever vigilant. Remote working presents unique challenges. How to maintain the company culture, how to offer all training and development on-line — and one of the greatest for me…how to onboard someone so they not only feel part of the company but also have everything they need to be effective and efficient.