Return to Work roundup
28th January 2021
It is approaching a year now since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, meaning many businesses have been operating on a remote basis since March 2020. Now, with a vaccine signalling a return to normality later this year, does this mean a return to the office for staff based at home?
At MovePlan, we are supporting businesses with their return-to-work strategy. In most of the countries we operate, staff are still working remotely while restrictions are in place around Covid-19. Many companies have plans in place ready for a return to work when this can happen. However, working models of the future may look different to how they did before.
The pandemic has sparked change in the workplace more rapidly than anything we have ever seen. Businesses have recognised the proven* benefits of remote working, as well as the need to right-size the space they do have available. This could mean downsizing or relocating to a more suitable premises for many businesses, as they reconsider their workplace strategy.
Many companies are now opting for a hybrid model, with a combination of flexible working and collaboration spaces in an office to allow employees to meet in person, when the time is right.
A hybrid model involves splitting workers’ time between home and the office, giving them the freedom to incorporate flexibility into their working week. However, it is not without challenges, including a potential impact on company culture. There may already be divisions between those staff working from home and those in the office.
Some employees may not want to work from home, while others might not want to return to the office. Managing this new working model in the right way is key to its success and ensuring you maintain company culture.
Suki Reilly, our Regional Rirector, US East and Canada, said there is no need for business leaders to be afraid of a change of workplace model. “There is a fear that culture will be undermined or destroyed because employees are not coming to a traditional office,” she said, adding: “The experiment of working from home has advanced the workplace of choice by decades. We went into the pandemic with an established culture and connections, and now need to consider how to develop and maintain this in the long-term.”
While planning is key, it might be unwise to adopt a permanent plan regarding working patterns. A more sensible approach would be to factor in a degree of flexibility to allow for individual circumstances and feelings, as well as being able to adapt and change quickly if necessary. If there is anything the last year has taught us, it is the importance of flexibility.
MovePlan’s experts will ensure this next transition is carried out efficiently and effectively, while continuing to support staff as they work from home. Mental wellbeing is now top of the agenda for businesses, forcing HR departments to consider how best to support employees at home and during the transition back to work. While business leaders focus on the wellbeing of their workforce, our focus is to make sure employees are informed and feel connected.
As champions of organisational change, MovePlan is offering critical support with the next transition of returning to work, empowering, and leading companies to implement the necessary changes so they feel ready, informed, and prepared for the next step.