With 72% percent of global corporations indicating that a percentage of remote work is here to stay, how will businesses decide who works from home and who needs to be in the office? Similarly, how will they determine which jobs can be done remotely, and which ones need to be office-based?
Imagining a post-pandemic workplace that encompasses a more equitable working-better/working-smarter solution, employers will want to consider what the business needs, what teams and individuals need to be most effective, and how to go about getting there. Collaborative office solutions can assist in the endeavour.
While the option existed before the pandemic, COVID-19 and its related lockdowns really showed the value of working from home, so much so that many employers are actively planning for its continuance. They found that with the right focus and resources, such as audiovisual technology, wellness programs, and collaborative office solutions, employees continued to be engaged and productive.
Collaborative Office Solutions Work for Both Remote and Office Employees
In a post-pandemic office environment, those same processes will help office-based workers collaborate. Office workers will be adhering to COVID safety measures like density/distancing, geometry, and division protocols, and they will also be using the same resources to meet and engage virtually.
Let’s have a look at some points employers should consider when developing a post-pandemic work-from-home policy, focusing on who should work from home and from the office:
- One of the first tasks will be determining who works remotely. Employees whose job it is to interact face-to-face with the public obviously can’t do that from a home-based office. Other roles that need to be maintained at a physical workplace may include maintenance work, leadership positions, and decision-makers. Many organizations have had those roles working remotely during the pandemic, but that is most likely not a long-term solution.
- The suitability of an employee being considered for remote work should also be taken into account. Questions to be asked include the ability to self-manage time and expectations. Some workers do well in a remote environment, others do not.
- An employer might also want to consider an employee’s home environment. People working out of cramped spaces, like a small apartment, might not fare as well as someone with more space.
- Other tasks probably better suited for the office include cyber-security, accessing the company database, etc. Will employers be secure in letting those functions go offsite? If there is a breach of some kind, can that be handled by a home-based employee?
Not an Easy Job to Create a Hybrid Work Environment
Creating a hybrid remote/office environment is a complex issue, says Chris Congdon in Steelcase’s Real Questions, Real Answers About Hybrid Work. COVID-19 realities, she says, have altered people’s perceptions about the office.
“Some feel they can be productive at home, but others feel isolated or overwhelmed. So, understanding employees’ motivations is important. Consider how teams will function if they aren’t sitting together? And think about what the organization needs from people to make sure the business is moving forward. We anticipate some sort of social contract between the organization and the individual because leaving it up to individuals alone to decide when they come in and how often may not be what’s best for the business.”
The process should involve a review of tasks, personnel, as well as consultation. Employers will want to take a business-centric approach to the task, while remembering that some workers want to work remotely, and some don’t. However, just because an employee wants to work from home or the office doesn’t mean they should if it’s not in the best interests of the company.
Turn to POI for Collaborative Office Solutions & More
Creating the post-COVID hybrid remote/office environment isn’t an easy task, but with the help of collaborative office solutions, tomorrow is closer than imagined. Contact the experts at POI today for more information.