We all now know this pandemic has significantly changed how – and where – we work. The changes we have made (or are pondering on) will have a lasting impact on how we approach office and workplace planning. It’s important your company can adapt to the changing needs and desires of your employees.
Throughout this crisis, we have seen a variety of creative and flexible work solutions from companies. Whether it be short or long-term solutions, the winning themes have been a commitment to preserving collaboration while also retaining and attracting talent.
With Back to School, Flexibility is Key
School districts and childcare providers are working hard to provide safe environments for kids, which has resulted in multiple scenarios/options (full time in-classroom, hybrid schedules, virtual/homeschooling, class size limits, etc.).
This means your working parents are deciding what options are best for their family. Because each situation is unique, it’s not advisable to create a “one size fits all” policy. Suggestions include:
- Have your employees work 1:1 with their manager to figure out a realistic, workable schedule.
- Give your managers leeway to make the best decisions for solutions that meet the organization, team and employee needs.
- Provide your employees the ability to block out time for school lessons, shifting working hours or work days, reducing weekly hours, job sharing, etc.
- Institute “check-up” dates with your employees & managers – Does this arrangement still meet the business and personal needs? Anticipate that tweaks will likely need to happen.
Hybrid & Staggered Schedules
Consider allowing telecommute on a full or part time basis for the foreseeable future. Some employees are most productive in the office and are easily distracted at home. Others productivity increases significantly when working from home. A hybrid option of in office and out of office work locations provides employees with either option or a blend of both.
Many employees want to have the option for a blended work location approach. Providing this option minimizes the number of employees in the office each day which can increase safety and optimize your office space with fewer people. Staggering start times increases “clusters” of employees and provides your employees with another flexible option that meets their personal needs on start times.
[READ: Childcare complicates return to work.]
There has been an overwhelming positive response for leaders showing it’s ok and expected to have distractions that working from home have presented. We all have them (pets, children, care for parents, etc. in the background of video meetings).
Your employees are taking note and want to return these gestures of empathy and flexibility through excellence in their work performance. Having empathy and understanding will truly make a difference long term in retaining and attracting your top talent!
At HR-Elements, we’ve been working with clients on building new workplace procedures that take into account hybrid and remote work situations. Find out how we can help your business adapt with these changing times.