Reimagining the workplace: learning from a pandemic

Over the past 12 months, our day-to-day lives have been consumed by a global pandemic. As we start to see a light at the end of the tunnel, organisations across the globe are gradually planning their employees’ return to the workplace.

There are so many things we can learn from this pandemic. As we all start preparing to return to the workplace, let’s see it as an opportunity to reimagine when, where and how we work.

So, what lessons can we take from the last year and how can you learn from them to reimagine the workplace?

First, ask yourself questions like these:

  • Do you always need to drive over an hour for a pitch? Or, could it be done just as well over a video conference in 30 minutes?
  • Do you or your employees need to be in the office every day? Or, could you save time and protect the environment by minimising your commutes?
  • Does a great team culture really need to be built in the workplace? Or, could your employees be just as engaged, if not more, by building a culture even with a hybrid workforce?

The next step is to start thinking about what you could do differently moving forward after learning from the way we’ve worked over the last year. Below are some of our tips to help you get started.

Refresh your policies

Reimagining when, where and how we work provides you with a great opportunity to give your workplace policies a refresh. Has the pandemic taught you that you can work in ways you didn’t think were possible before? The questions we listed earlier will give you a great indication of what policies in your organisation could do with a refresh or new ones you may introduce.

Here are a few policies you could start with:

  • Your strategy for remote and flexible working. Hybrid workforces* are emerging and it’s time to embrace them. If you’ve been operating well in the past year with employees working from home, consider keeping this as an option for them moving forward.
  • Sickness policy. If there’s one thing we should have all learned over the last 12 months, it’s the importance of having sick employees staying at home. A recent survey highlighted that 9 in 10 employees say they go to work sick. Your employees’ health and wellbeing should be your top priority.
  • Health and safety. This leads on from the point above; if you haven’t refreshed your health and safety policies, now is the time to. Think about your approach to who can come into your organisation, what visitors and staff may need to do while on site, etc.

*A hybrid workforce is a blend of employees working on-site and remotely.

Build culture outside of the workplace

Company culture is important for employee engagement, productivity and overall business success. In a report by Deloitte, 88% of employees said they believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success - highlighting that many of us know the importance.

But, contrary to many beliefs, a great team culture doesn’t need to be built in the office, and as hybrid workforces start becoming the norm, it’s going to be even more important to ensure you’re continuing to build a team culture when employees aren’t all together.

Here are a few of our tips for building team culture outside of the workplace:

  • Trust your employees. Great culture is built on trust and respect between you and your employees and amongst each other. This is ultra important when having staff members working remotely.
  • Share company values and goals with staff; emphasise that sharing the same values will help to accomplish goals as a team.
  • Communication is key. It’s a phrase used a lot but it really is true. Ensure you have suitable communication tools for employees to use when working remotely. Check in with your staff regularly too just to see how they’re getting on - it’s a simple way to show them that you care about their wellbeing.
  • Organise face-to-face time. This might be as simple as ensuring regular meetings in the office are scheduled or organising social events outside of work.

Embrace technology

Technology is a wonderful thing, and if you haven’t invested in tech to help streamline processes in your organisation yet, now is your opportunity. As you reimagine the way your organisation operates, technology can be your best friend.

Here are a few things technology can help to transform:

  • Communication
  • Project management
  • Visitor management
  • Staff sign in
  • Health and safety
  • Wellbeing and rewards
  • Finances

The list could be endless! Tech such as visitor management and staff sign in solutions often have fantastic tools which can help you seamlessly transition to a hybrid workforce.

Sign In App provides visitor management and staff sign for the modern workplace; get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you to transform your organisation, streamline your health and safety processes and embrace a hybrid workforce. You can find all of our contact details here.