When choosing where employees will work, employers need to think carefully. Options include working from home, the office, or a mix of both. Introducing new working styles is a task you need to get right.
There have been several recent changes in the business environment, such as office downsizing. It’s important to make the right decision when introducing new ways of working.
Why is it important to get it right?
From the moment you roll out the policy to staff, it needs to be right. The process could be expensive, extremely time consuming and disruptive for employees. It’s important to plan every detail, consider all costs including financial costs, cost to employees, clients and customers and more.
Listening to your employees
Whatever path you take, even if it’s maintaining five-days a week in the office, listening to your people is crucial. What does it mean?
An important aspect of ensuring people buy into a company vision is ensuring they have input in that vision. The modern, progressive, organization is not a top-down dictatorship. It is not a democracy either, it is, ideally, a meritocracy where the best ideas rise to the top. When it comes to those ideas, don’t allow room for guesswork – see what your employees think by running questionnaires or focus groups.
When decisions get taken at the top, you need to ensure your HR, finance and operations leads can communicate the benefits of that vision. Not just the business benefits, but the benefits that employees will reap. You can’t please all people, all the time. The good news is you don’t need to, to thrive as a business.
Creating a Collaborative Environment
“Employees still enjoy the office environment. Face-to-Face human interaction and collaboration (not via technology) is the main driver. Being part of a team with physical/face to face interaction with colleagues and clients still preferred for employees in most roles” – Andrew Fullerton Smith,
General Manager Sales, Crown FIL Workspace, New Zealand
Bringing people into a shared environment helps create closer bonds. It supports a company culture of ‘one for all and all for one’. There are more opportunities to learn from others, greater exposure to senior leaders, and more mentoring opportunities – all of which benefit the individuals and the organization overall. Future leaders, and their leadership styles, can be more easily observed and assessed as a company builds its succession plan.
On the topic of welcoming in the next generation of employees embarking on the first steps of the next phase of their lives, we can’t ignore the social aspect of what makes a great employer, which is an integral part of an organization’s culture. This is especially relevant for younger generations for whom work/life balance does not necessarily mean work and family life.
Younger workers value mentorship and the bonds they build with co-workers. In one survey of Gen Zs the percentage who said those connections were ‘very important’ increased from 59% to 81% after just six months of the pandemic. This underscores the paradigm shift Covid has played in shaping generational expectations around work.
Being able to offer an attractive shared facility works for recruitment and retention. We knew the value of this pre-pandemic. At the dawn of the current century, we witnessed a shift from drab interior design and a cubicle farm layout to more open, modern and vibrant office environments pioneered by Silicon Valley start-ups. That doesn’t mean your office needs beanbags and table tennis, but likewise it should not be entirely utilitarian.
We’re here to make sure your business keeps moving forward. Speak to one of our experts to find out more. Call us on: 0508 227 696 or fill in an online form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.