How can businesses build on changes to the way we work?

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Business News & Tips

Bouncing Back Better Post Lockdown

We’ve collaborated with the team at Purple Beach to produce our Changing Workplace Report, which brings together experts in business leadership, neuroscience,  and flexible working to explore the workplace challenges created by the Coronavirus pandemic and the best ways to overcome them.

Here, partners at Purple Beach, Annemie Ress and Olivia Gribaudo explain how businesses can use the changes we’ve seen to bounce back better than ever.

You can tell a lot about someone’s character in a crisis. Did they lose their head or did they rally themselves and their business?

There’s no doubt that leaders need to work harder, but adapting to the crisis and its consequences will bring enormous value for their employees, their customers and their business. As for the ‘new normal’? There is no new normal because there is no normal.

An opportunity to reset employee engagement

 We don’t believe that employee engagement is dead just because it’s done remotely. A more authentic and personalised work experience has the potential to engage people like never before.

Remote working isn’t something employers can address like a tick-box. It isn’t just putting practices and technologies in place that solve the issue. There needs to be a lot of two-way communication and willingness to adapt when testing and trialling ideas.

For employees there’s an opportunity to choose what we do. Another reset. A lot of work pre-Covid was process-driven, repetitive or non-value-added. Just a use of time.

For leaders, Covid has allowed a resetting of company objectives and a tightened focus on the work that needs to be done to get to those objectives.

After employers provide a strong understanding of what work must be done, employees should be trusted to work in ways that suit them.

This will go much smoother if bosses and employees learn together. Both parties should be asking for collaboration, showing vulnerability and being willing to test and learn from new ways of working.

 Ultimately the employees will drive the change. How will collaboration continue? How will promotions work? How will mentoring work? How will business continue if its fortunes don’t allow a reward initiative?

These are the questions leaders need to work with their employees to address.

 Level the work hierarchy

The burden of childcare, homeschooling and domestic drudgery during lockdown has fallen overwhelmingly on women. While a lot of doom and gloom claims this has set the gender agenda back 30 years, it can be addressed in time with proper policy.

The pandemic hits us all unawares and, as said before, there is no new normal. The situation at the moment isn’t how things will settle.

Communicating online goes some way to level the work hierarchy. Male voices can no longer dominate boardrooms when people must speak one at a time online. Your physical presence doesn’t let you take control of a meeting, a leader is given the same sized square on the screen as the lowest-ranked employee. Use this change for the better. A wider range of voices in your business will help find the best new solutions for employees.

We can already see the benefit in SMEs who were driving inclusion agendas pre-pandemic.

Download the Changing Workplace Report

In this free guide for business managers, remote working experts and leaders of some of the UK’s best places to work give advice covering:

  • How have the best workplaces adapted to home, remote and hybrid working?
  • What should business leaders do to support employees through uncertainty?
  • How can businesses bounce back better?
  • What technology should we use to boost homeworking productivity?

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