THIS LAST YEAR HAS SEEN CHANGES IN THE WAY WE WORK
But now that we have a lockdown roadmap, what does the future of work look like?
It’s been almost a year since the first lockdown, and there have been many changes in the world of work since then. Many traditional office-based jobs moved to home working overnight, the furlough scheme was introduced, and many parents had to balance remote working and childcare under one roof.
With the recent announcement of the lockdown roadmap, many people across the country will be cautiously optimistic about the next couple of months. But what does the announcement mean for the world of work? We look at what we expect to see over the next few months…
Office, remote or both?
As it stands, the current guidelines still state people who can work from home, should continue to do so. Even when offices begin to open back up, we don’t expect to see a rush back.
According to the Demand for Skilled Talent Report 70% of employee’s would like to have a choice between working from home and the office, and 22% would like to purely work from home.
It’s not a surprise, with many benefiting from cutting out the commute and seeing an improvement on work-life balance. Going forward employees will be looking for employers who allow for choice around where they choose to work, whether it’s at home or in the office. This will be key to attracting and retaining talent in the coming year.
Plus, many businesses have found that productivity has either remained the same or increased even with their workforce at home. It can also give you access to a more diverse talent pool, based on location, and can help disabled and neurodivergent candidates work from a location that suits them.
Flexibility with hours:
Many parents across the country will be glad to hear schools are set to reopen in England, so they no longer need to balance working and looking after their kids. But that doesn’t mean employers should stop allowing flexible hours.
Parents will still need flexibility around the school run time and other employees will find it useful to balance their work and home life.
Supporting a return to work for furloughed colleagues:
With the end of the furlough scheme due in April and the country set to ease out of lockdown, many employers might be looking at bringing back colleagues. But, as they do, there will need to be support put in place. From making them feel valued, to communicating changes, and helping staff adapt to any new ways of working.
It’s important to remember that furloughed colleagues may take some time to get back into the swing of working, particularly if their company has moved to a more remote style of working. So, just be prepared that they might not be super productive from day one.
Providing a safe space to work:
Although we don’t see working from home going anywhere anytime soon, it’s important to make sure you have a plan in place for when offices can reopen, if you are choosing to do so.
You might want to start considering any changes you need to make to your workplace to ensure it’s safe for everyone. This includes making sure the relevant risk assessments and health and safety measures are in place and communicated to colleagues well in advance of any return.
Adapting employee benefits:
With a growing remote workforce, there will be a move away from the traditional office-based benefits like onsite food discounts or access to a gym near the office (for when they open back up again).
Instead, employee benefits need to suit both home based, office and flexible workers. Whether that’s allowing an employee to choose a gym nearer to their home, support with setting up a home office and making sure they can access these benefits from home.
Mental health support:
The last year or so has been challenging for all of us, with many experiencing stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Although the recent news from the government allows us to be cautiously optimistic, mental health issues won’t just go away.
Providing mental health support, like an Employee Assistance Programme, will help you support your employees through challenging times by providing them with access to talk to experts who can help. It also helps you to create a culture that cares and breaks the stigma around discussing mental health issues.
How we can help:
We know it isn’t always easy to know how to offer a comprehensive staff wellbeing programme that benefits all employees. If you want to learn more about the ways you can support your employees health and wellbeing, why not get in touch with our experts? They can help guide you through solutions and plans you can put in place to help your staff.