New working trends rapidly takes over the old normal
There are numbers of challenges that we need to handle as a result of the new working environment following the Corona Virus. The future will, for many companies, be determined by how successful they cope with the new normal, which we do not know what it will look like - yet. However, JOHOC does see some clear indicators and the first one we will share with you is about Employer Branding.
Let's agree that covid-19 has affected us in many ways and will do so for a long time. One of the positive outcome is that Covid-19 will change the way we work in a positive way, when working from home at least 50 percent of the time now becomes a standard. The efficiency is going up, at the same time the stress levels are going down. People are producing more in less hours, and at the same time saving time of not commuting to work. This way of working is here to stay and will be tweaked over the upcoming years. As a consequence, many companies are now reducing their office space with around 30 to 50 percent. They are also rebuilding their office spaces from working areas to open areas in order for employees to meet and interact with each other. The time we are spending in the office is now for interaction, collaboration and discussion - and the environment shall facilitate this new way of working.
Since the trend is that we are supposed to spend less and less time in the office, instead we will interact through other channels, we can see some very interesting consequences in terms of completely new geographical recruitment patterns. A few weeks ago, one large corporation informed that they are no longer hiring people to a specific office, instead they are hiring a competence, since they believe that the person will only be at one of their offices no more than an average of 1 day a week over a full year. They will also offer their employees the possibility to work from a co-office where they live as an option. This will have a huge impact on the job market - imagine when people in general will be able to live were ever they want to live, and not where the jobs are. This can already be seen in the real estate market in London, were people are moving out to the suburbs, since commuting time will not be as important when you only will be in the office 1-2 days a week.
Other positive aspects on our health and environment is that some companies have introduced walking meetings - they recommend people to take a walk during the meeting. Walking meetings bring exercising to be part of the working day - which have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing as well as reducing our stress levels since we can now handle our home tasks during the day. Not to mention the time and money we are saving on not traveling to work. Many cities around in Europe have taken the opportunity to increase the bike lanes during the lock-down, which has boosted the number of bikes and walking people as well as decreased the pollution impact of cars in the street.
So, is all this just positive? Not really. There are numbers of challenges that we need to handle as a result of this new and different working environment. We can see that many companies and managers struggle with how they can be successful in order to build the company's brand and culture when people work from home. How do I manage and motivate my employers working from home, how can I create engagement, involvement and at the same time work efficiently? How do I work with onboarding new employees when I cant't meet them? We can also see an increased amount of health issues of people working in unergonomic positions from their home offices. For many Executives a new type of leadership is requried, thus new management skills and tools are vital for us who see no other option than successfully adopt into the new game plan that we all will be part of in the very near future, competing on other terms than we are used to.
So, with this in mind, now it is more critical than ever before to develop the skills and tools crucial for the company in order to attract, recruit and retain competitive competence - particularly since the job market will be global in the future. Managers need to be educated so they develop skills for managing their teams and departments on a distance. HR need to work with onboarding and communications solutions that will engage employees from the start as well as create an interactive environment between colleagues. How this process works will be crucial. For sure, it is a very exciting time and we will see more changes coming in this field in the near future.
One thing is crystal clear. The game plan is changing. If you want to go beyond barely surviving this challenge, but play as a winner - you will have to stay ahead and work not only hard, but smart.
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