The crisis has overturned traditional workplace dynamics

Employees and their managers are coming to terms with a new working standard born out of anti-pandemic measures and their economic impacts. For countless organizations, this norm has been characterized by remote working, and particularly in the early stages of the crisis, this was difficult for both employees and senior leaders.

89%

A survey of French workers by Deskeo in late March found 89% were not used to the remote working experience, while a mid-April survey by Empriente Humaine found 68% were experiencing a form of emotional distress, 58% were working longer days, and managers were almost twice more likely to be experiencing strong emotional distress than their employees.

However, as personnel have adapted, opinions are solidifying that could firmly transform the way we work. The majority are enjoying remote working practices: when polled by Deskeo in early April, 62% of employees said they wished to continue to work remotely some of the time; 38% due to the time they have saved from commuting, 27% due to working more efficiently, and 19% because of the increased personal flexibility afforded by teleworking.

This means returning to a pre-crisis managerial approach is not an option, so it is crucial you act today and plan for the future. Such a transition will unlock a host of benefits for both businesses and employees as restrictions relax and the world adapts to a new normal.

Digitization is the crucial first step to efficient and enjoyable remote working

Non-digitized business processes are less efficient, secure and collaborative than their digital replacements, and as many companies discovered in the early stages of pandemic and lockdown, digitization is key to allowing employees and customers to operate effectively together during the crisis. This activity needs to be built upon, even after government restrictions are lowered.

  • Review your processes to ascertain the requirements of your company’s digitization, then create a roadmap that accounts for all areas of your activity.
  • Deploy and manage digital communication and collaboration platforms on a company-wide scale. This goes beyond the electrification of work to allow full digitization, including secure sharing, digital collaboration, and remote meetings that benefit both internal and external activity.
  • Provide employees with equipment that allows them to perform their roles at home, or allow them to use their own devices to complete work tasks – while this may raise questions regarding security and compatibility, the use of digital communication and collaboration platforms can surmount these concerns.

By continuing to support and develop your digitization, you can work more efficiently as a business, reducing barriers to working and collaboration and becoming more agile as a result.

The nature of workplaces must become more adaptable

As your employees ask for more flexible working arrangements, the nature and definition of the workplace must become more flexible.

  • Allow employees to work from home, some of the time – two days a week, on rotated days of the week, for instance.
  • Promote the use of coworking spaces to employees. This will provide them with an opportunity to reduce commuting times, but still work in structured, professional environments, alongside being potentially less expensive than the equivalent area of company office space.
  • Adapt company office spaces to the new norm. Offices will cease to be bases for employees, instead becoming geared towards more social spaces with an emphasis on meetings and collaboration.

Managerial styles: better planned and higher quality

In recent surveys of businesses, we have found that leaders are struggling to adapt to the current remote working climate. Senior leaders, for instance, are frustrated at their inability to read non-verbal cues in meetings, while managers complain of a lack of contact with their employees. Tackling these pressures while acknowledging the needs and wishes of your personnel is a matter of improving the quality and planning of your interactions.

  • Where face-to-face contact is crucial, ensure that in-office meetings are better planned so as many individuals as is reasonable can attend. If this is not possible, training in remote meeting etiquette and presenting, as well as technological investment, can improve the quality of remote interactions.
  • Enhance everyday management by planning regular one-to-one meetings where managers and employees can catch up and discuss issues. This is an important step for workplaces traditionally reliant on large numbers of brief, informal, ‘corridor’ meetings.

Adapting your business’ managerial approach will allow changes to be firmly instilled within your organization, fulfilling the needs of both your employees and business over the long term.

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Discover how we can transform your managerial approach, now and after the crisis – contact our experts today.

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