2020 has introduced both employers and employees to a way of working that many always felt would be “impossible” or “not viable” for the business, or simply not an option. Businesses have had to adapt to these changes with a moment’s notice to make the impossible, possible to ensure the business and their staff can still continue on throughout these times.
We have seen the home office become the main attraction in our lives in the last few months while the work office shut down, became vacant and was no longer a bustling environment. We have adapted to making business calls from mobiles whilst animals bark and children play in the background to working with our partners at home. We have had to create a work routine within our homes that resembled our “old” one, ensuring a professional setting and attending more Zoom meetings in the last 8 weeks than you ever could imagine to attend in your entire working career… all whilst trying to balance your work and personal life when the two came colliding together.
As someone who has worked remote from my team throughout my career as a Recruitment Consultant, during these times, I have never felt closer. Communication has been a savior. From the beginning our team has banded together, made a commitment to connect with each other daily, with a team meeting each morning to discuss work and then again in the afternoon to wind down and enjoy each other’s company. Our communication to each other on a whole has increased and the energy and positivity it has created has seen the team morale boost, all because we embraced change and realised the importance of keeping the team together in a time of isolation.
So as we start to pack up our home office and our workplace slowly starts to be that bustling environment it once was, how do we start to prepare for another change in our routine?
I am sure we have all heard the old tale of “The Hare and the Tortoise” and in times like these I would encourage both employer and employee to reflect on the message and appreciate the importance of taking things one step at a time as we yet again endure change.
It is possible and here’s how:
Take the time to reflect on the past few months, the changes the company and employees have made, what worked and what didn’t and how the positive changes can be introduced into the workplace.
Be an example
Be the example for your team, if you are promoting returning to work 3 days a week, lead the way and encourage others to join you.
Be supportive of others
A motivated workforce is the key to success. For some staff, after so much change, returning to the workplace may feel unsettling, so acknowledge what your team have been through, listen to their concerns and focus on rebuilding the morale.
Did you notice the increase of communication these past few months with your team? Don’t lose that. Keep those regular catch ups running, make those quick little phone calls to check in on each other, email out brain teasers or delicious recipes you found and tried. Now more than ever communication is vital as we transition back into the workplace.
As we all start to migrate from home to work, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, to talk about your feelings or to reach out to your team for support. Take your time with this adjustment, avoid adding additional pressure and stress to yourself as you embark on another change in your routine in both your professional and personal life. And most importantly, remember to embrace the positives that came from these last few months and take them with you as you walk through those doors.