As we continue to navigate the pandemic, individuals have grown accustomed to different work habits—from naps and walks during the workday to balancing active childcare and work. While many businesses are considering or implementing a wide range of return-to-work policies, it is becoming clear that the “new normal” will include some form of the hybrid office.
This suggests a period of trial and error as we identify the types of schedules that work best for various employees, companies, and industries. Perhaps the most critical element is employee productivity: Recent studies indicate employees may actually be more productive when working remotely. Anecdotally, we have found the best way forward may involve worker flexibility (and all that entails, from technology to posting requirements) rather than a set remote/on-site schedule.
As to the office itself, there is no doubt it will look different than the office we left in March 2020. Witness this article regarding the end of the “open office” (and a prediction as to what comes next) and Manpower’s recent announcement that it is leasing out 80,000 square feet of its downtown Milwaukee headquarters.
And finally, don’t forget to take a moment with your team to reflect on all you have been through—individually and collectively. This COVID-19 museum exercise might serve you well in this regard.
Business Takeaway: Businesses must weigh the importance of COVID-era changes—i.e., which changes will continue to drive success for your business and employees over the long term? While contemplating your employees’ return to work, keep in mind that your employees are every bit as anxious as you, and that your choices in these areas impact employee retention and recruitment. Contact Corey at 414-446-8800 or firstname.lastname@example.org as you plan for a return to the workplace.