As a result of the pandemic it feels like we have had a complete reset on the way in which we work. In an early study carried out in March 2020, 50% of employees said that they didn’t want to go back to the office full time. It is like we have all had a taste of freedom and now feel that we would be so restricted by working in an office again.
We have all proven that it is possible to work remotely, whilst staying productive (sometimes even more efficient than in an office environment). Some people within the same study also stated that they would consider switching employers if their organisation returned to fully on-site working! Let’s have a look at some of the ways that you as a business owner can adapt to this new style of working.
Keep your staff in the forefront of your mind
When you are making big business decisions regarding whether your employees will continue to work from home, you need to consider their views. Some may prefer to get back into the office as they miss the social aspect, whilst others may prefer the flexibility of working from home. You may even have to meet somewhere in the middle and come up with a hybrid model.
You need to create a solution that works for your employees otherwise they are not going to be happy, and this will result in poor performance. People want to be given a choice about things that affect their lives, and it shows a level of trust by including staff in important decisions like this.
Try lots of new things
Ask your employees for ideas of how you can improve the business to help them more. Do you currently provide unlimited time off as a perk? Or are your staff able to take days off for their mental health? Whilst giving your staff more freedom may feel incredibly daunting to begin with, you will be surprised at how much more they will respect and trust you. If people start taking advantage of the opportunities you are giving them, they probably aren’t the right people for the job anyway!
Accept that people will want to WFH
It is important that you don’t get angry or punish those who want to continue working from home. We all have our own lives and reasons, but adding extra pressure to force people back into the office is not a good idea. Otherwise you will end up with your entire workforce back in the office, but people not actually wanting to be there. Not good for morale!
After what has been an extremely difficult time for us all, it is the responsibility of you as a business owner to restore faith in your employees. Give them choice, flexibility, accountability and trust and you will soon be able to reap the rewards of increased productivity.
If you aren’t thinking about getting rid of your office and moving your team to remote working, you might want to consider a virtual office. Have a look at our packages to find out more.