It’s fair to say that COVID-19 has changed the face of the workplace irrevocably. With restrictions in Jersey starting to ease, it is only natural that we’re starting to think about how we are going to transition back to a semblance of normal working. But what does normal now look like?
There are mixed feelings amongst employees about going back to the office. Some are excited to get back to a more structured work environment and to socialise with their team, others are slightly apprehensive and have appreciated the flexibility and opportunity to focus that working from home can offer. This is completely understandable; the standard construct of a 9-5 day in the office has been completely turned on its head and I cannot help but feel a little delighted that a ‘rush hour’ could be a thing of the past with flexible working hours becoming much more common place. It is quite clear that transitioning back into the office environment is likely to end up being more of a challenge than it was to transition everyone out.
Over the coming weeks, it will be crucial for organisations to arm their leadership teams with the skills they need to support their staff through this process and to also ensure that employees have been given the opportunity to voice their concerns, understand how to handle the changes and come back to the office with a positive and motivated outlook. This transition can be made much easier with the right tools and clear supportive business practices.
Having had the opportunity to speak to someone with experience of living and working in a ‘bubble’, (where physical distancing was practised but to an even greater degree - 5 metres between colleagues), it was interesting (and a little concerning) to hear exactly how difficult it can be to return to a more ‘normal’ working scenario. Without the right plan, training, support and communication, some employees and organisations may struggle however, it was reassuring to hear how much can be done to support colleagues and employees and to create a positive experience with the use of some very effective resilience techniques.
We believe that it is important to share this valuable information and so, we have created a two-part management series to encourage a positive and resilient transition back to the workplace. More information on this course can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/transitioning-back-to-the-workplace-tickets-106743841704. We do hope that they help you and your organisation to manage this change as efficiently as possible.
Fortunately, as has been demonstrated so well over the past 7 weeks, we are an island of very caring, innovative, tenacious people and I have no doubt that we will apply the same tenacity and positive attributes to the journey back to the workplace.