When it comes to making work more flexible in post-pandemic environments, some companies have fear (s). The easiest answer is to avoid flexibility policies by claiming that they don't work for you. In reality, flexible labor policies can work in & nbsp; any & nbsp; industry, and the harsh months of the pandemic have shown it. In fact, a recent Harvard Business School study showed that the majority of professionals have excelled at their jobs while working from home, and 81% either do not want to return to the office or would choose a hybrid post-pandemic schedule.
However, the fears that arise in companies towards flexibility are natural, and Diversity & amp; Flexibility Alliance has reduced them to the loss of the 5 Cs: loss of control, culture, collaboration, contribution and connection.
Managers to They often worry about setting dangerous precedents if they allow some employees to work flexibly. They believe that if they let some employees work from home, the office will always be empty and no one will be working. The answer to this fear, to lack of control, is structure & nbsp; and & nbsp; Clarity - Setting standards and communicating them clearly, while creating a central approval process for flexibility to ensure the system is equitable. It's also helpful to have a calendar system to keep track of when and where each team member is working. Teams may need to be trained to work flexible hours. Education and training will help avoid "flexible stigma", in which employees are disadvantaged or considered less engaged due to their flexibility.
While it is You may not see every employee every day, and you may not be able to have coffee with the team every day, the culture does not have to suffer with a flexible work initiative. Of course, it is essential that teams meet in person or by videoconference on a regular basis. Diversity & amp; The Flexibility Alliance recommends that companies and firms first define what culture means for their individual organization and then determine how they can maintain this culture in a hybrid or virtual environment. Additionally, it is important to take advantage of the days when everyone is physically present to develop relationships, participate in events, and spend time alone with colleagues.
For collaboration to be successful, remote employees should not be held to a higher standard than those working in the office. Additionally, technology must be used to enhance collaboration. For example, when companies are gathering teams for brainstorming sessions, virtual small group rooms can facilitate small group collaboration and help ensure that all voices are heard.
"If employees are not physically at their desks in the office, how will we know that they are really working?" a manager might say. But with the myriad of distractions available in these days (from online shopping to Instagram, Facebook, etc.), you really don't know what employees are up to even if they are in the office. In fact, they might be looking for a new job (one that offers flexibility!). It is important to clearly communicate what is expected of each individual and trust that they will complete the job on time. All employees should be evaluated on the quality of their work rather than the time they spend in the office.
Technology now allows people to connect at any time of the day, almost anywhere. Additionally, calendar sharing apps can help coordinate team schedules and help track team members' availability. Even networking events can now be held virtually. A recent survey of more than 2,300 people around the world asked participants if they would like their meetings to be: 1) only in person, 2) only online, or 3) a combination of online and in person. A third of the participants surveyed said they wanted to fully return to face-to-face meetings. However, 16% wanted to stick with online meetings only, and nearly 51% of respondents favored a combination of both in-person and online meetings. This is a substantial transition from organizational practice prior to the pandemic, with two-thirds of the organization saying they would prefer some aspect of online meetings to be the norm in the future.
A recent Outlook survey Pulse for CEOs of KPMG in 2021 found that nearly half of CEOs of major corporations around the world do not expect to return to "normalcy" immediately. Perhaps a silver lining to the pandemic is that corporate leaders have overcome their fears of the 5Cs and now understand how flexibility can benefit their recruitment and retention efforts, not to mention productivity and profitability.