Did you think back in January 2020 that today we would all be walking around the supermarket wearing Masks? We certainly didn’t! We don’t think anyone could have predicted what Corona Virus meant to the UK and world at large! What it has brought is new thinking, greater employee demands, new ways of working and the Post Covid 19 Workplace.
So what is the Post Covid 19 Workplace set to look like?
The concept of working anywhere has become a reality. Employers downsizing their property portfolio had grappled with agile working by developing a centralised office location for hot desking, working from home or subscribing to coworking hubs. As our graphic illustrates, technology is such that we can work anywhere. We no longer need to be office based.
So this brings us to our first post covid 19 workplace change – homeworking.
On 7 July 2020 People Management Magazine posted an article highlighting that employees who return to work via public transport were afraid to do so. This coupled with bosses stating they are reducing the number of employees returning to the workplace in order to adhere to social distancing requirements, has led to more consideration being given to homeworking.
We’ve been supporting many of our clients with a shift to homeworking. One of our multi-million pound tech companies has recently closed their central city location having found homeworking to work really well for them. A number of our fellow small businesses have also left their offices for home, or coworking hubs in the future.
So what does this mean for us? According to Peter Cheese, CEO of our institute, the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development):
“Greater use of home working will make work more accessible and sustainable for all, particularly for people with caring responsibilities and those with mobility or health concerns,” Cheese said. “This shift will support and encourage employers to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce, which is good for the economy and society at large.”
The ONS (Office for National Statistics) reported an increase of 27% in respect of people working from home post covid 19. Stating more men than women working from home and senior professional post holders finding it easier to work from home.
This is certainly a shift and needs careful management. Some employees take to homeworking very well, others struggle. So whilst employees are gaining further flexibility we at LaunchPad Associates are anticipating turnover increasing as things go back to normal. We’ll be keeping an interested eye on turnover rates 2021.
Keeping in touch will be a real challenge for managers together with managing performance and delivery of targets, particularly if we find our leaders at home and frontline staff in the workplace .
Retaining a sense of teamwork and connection will need to be high on the agenda, together with online meeting fatigue. Could this be an opportunity to streamline meetings in favour of staff wellbeing contact sessions? What will this mean for learning & development, coaching and mentoring? How will graduates and school leavers be integrated into the workplace?
There’s lots to consider relating to the post covid 19 physical workplace!
Staff Reevaluating Their Lives
We’re hearing of employees who previously resisted retirement realising as a result of lockdown that being at home, taking up new hobbies, volunteering etc. is not so bad after all. They’re opting to retire, take early retirement and / or voluntary redundancy to retire.
Does this mean the five generation workforce differential will erode? What does this mean for skill retention? Business leaders and HR are featuring this in their risk registers and people strategy.
As employers we’ve been working to the rule that people will live and work longer. Our staff now have a heightened awareness of mortality. Does this mean they’ll choose life over work? Will we see people changing attitude to work / life balance and quality of life versus salary?
Redundancy and Lost Work Streams
Economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic has resulted in many losing their jobs also requiring employers to consider nonstandard work models. Organisation leaders have responded to this unprecedented time by reducing contractor budgets, taking advantage of the Governments CJRS by placing staff on Furlough leave, implementing short-time working and varying work patterns, but we’re now seeing a shift towards flexibility by appointing people via contracts for services i.e. back to using contractors, together with fixed term and zero hour contracts.
The Government has provided employers with a further incentive to retain employees by offering £1,000.00 per employee Furloughed and retained until January 2021. Sadly employers are telling us this is not enough.
We are already starting to work with employers on redundancies. Sadly within the hospitality, travel and business centre and property management sectors workstreams have diminished to an extent that jobs have to be lost. We’re also finding childcare and pre-school services have reduced therefore jobs are being lost.
Our focus at the moment is helping those businesses through this period, but also providing career direction support to the affected staff to consider their transferable skills for future employment or self employment.
If you want to change your own career or are a business needing to future proof contact us. Let us share the successes we’ve had.
Moving to homeworking? Check out Homeworking Guide V.2.