With the ongoing transition in our work and home lives, Beca's Chloe Stewart-Tyson shares her tips on some of the fundamentals to consider for a successful transition into an exciting new normal.
For weeks now there have been numerous articles discussing what the ‘new normal’ looks like post COVID-19, ranging from flexible work and the future of hot desking; to reconsidering office spaces.
All these considerations are important as they will have an impact on organisations' design and more importantly culture. Essentially, we are trying to predict what the future of work will look like and although this is a great opportunity and start to be considered, we also need to take time to focus on what will work now.
A key thing to remember is that people are at different stages of transition. Some are reflecting on life’s current events and figuring out what it all means to them, their friends and their families, whether emotionally or financially, while others want the future of work decided now. We all need to be mindful of this transitional phase and be patient with one another. At Beca we’re trying not to lose sight of the message - Be kind - it helps us stay true to our purpose of ‘make everyday better’!
At Beca we are working with our teams on the future of work, conscious that there is no rush, as our people have been through a crisis and we need to be mindful of further change and manage it well when it comes. For now though, work is looking different so, here’s my take on the fundamentals that employers need to consider.
- Make offices feel safe, maintain increased focus on hygiene and if people want to continue to sit aprat then let them do so;
- People's psychological health will be suffering, listen and offer holistic wellbeing support including counselling;
- Be mindful that, when travel is allowed, some may still be apprehensive;
- Help employees transition back into the social aspects of life through a positive work experience and smaller gatherings;
- Be open to flexible work discussions, remember productivity for many employees increased by working at home. There are many avenues to flexible working arrangements so explore and discuss them all to arrange what works for all parties during this phase;
- We have all learnt so much about new technology, keep the learning of these tools alive and introduce etiquette into how to have a successful mixed online/office-based meeting;
- Remember the financial burden that people are carrying is often hidden, offer webinars or independent financial advice;
- And lastly, communicate and be transparent about future decisions at work. Where possible, consult with employees, we have all learnt through this experience and have many ideas to share.
Focus on this transition phase, it will eventually lead us all to an exciting new normal!
Group Health and Safety Manager