When COVID-19 broke out, it literally changed the way we lived our lives. It has not only threatened public health and safety but also upended several aspects of our lives including our work.
Work and COVID-19
Businesses and companies were somehow forced to embrace a remote work model. Mind you, it is not new but it’s generally not considered by businesses because they do not see it to be as effective as showing up and working at the office. However, as we went further into the pandemic, the circumstances forced them to rethink their strategy and give remote work a shot if they were to survive.
By now, most of the workforce around the world has gotten so used to working remotely in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Those who value their health and safety cannot imagine going back to working full-time at the workplace this early, not while the threat of different COVID-19 variants is still looming over us.
A huge chunk of the global workforce has gotten so used to the present work-from-home arrangements that when news came about how employers are planning to recall workers back to their offices, many are seriously considering resigning and just looking for other opportunities that will allow them to fully work remotely.
It has become quite a mess as the threat of mass resignation — or the Great Resignation, as others are starting to call it — is fast becoming a reality today.
In response to the Great Resignation, employers and business owners proposed to rework their business operations to incorporate a hybrid working arrangement that will supposedly accommodate and address both employer and employee concerns.
But it’s not that simple. Here’s why.
Why workers might reject a hybrid working arrangement
When the move to remote work started earlier in 2020, a lot of people were still apprehensive about it mainly because it went against what they’ve so gotten used to in all their years working. However, once they gave it a chance, more and more people have become comfortable with it. After all, they were still earning enough to provide for some of their needs and at the same time, avoid the risks of contracting the deadly coronavirus.
Companies reconfigured their operations and infrastructure to support the new trend. A lot of them consulted with different IT experts on how to make the most of what they have. Plenty of businesses started to recover during the third quarter of 2020 and it seemed like it was gonna be smooth sailing from there.
Since the call to the workplace began, a lot of employees were demanding flexibility. Management teams thought that incorporating a healthy mix of on-site and remote work (a hybrid) is the solution. While they may seem the same, there is a huge difference when it comes to implementation. And when this hybrid working arrangement has been communicated, a lot of workers are now on the fence with the new system, clarifying that what they want is flexibility.
This simply means they want to have more control of their schedule — when to work remotely and when to go to the office, and not adhere to a mixed but fixed schedule dictated by the company.
We need to keep in mind that most employees have already adapted to remote work and have already figured out a way to get their work done and attend to their personal or familial needs without compromising either of the two. Technology plays a major role in this new global trend. In fact, a lot of managers have found that employees have been more efficient and productive doing work remotely. Their productivity has increased, the quality of work has been top-notch, and the turnaround time has been a lot faster compared to reporting for work on site.
Workplace and recruitment experts are highly encouraging employers and managers to rethink their strategies and instead allow the workers to figure out their schedules based on what works best for them. The important thing is communication between parties should be open and constant. Giving employees greater flexibility and control over their schedules doesn’t mean that they are lowering their standards nor are they completely autonomous.
Workers will need to hold themselves at a higher level of accountability if they expect to be trusted with full control over their schedules. Management teams also need to ensure they have the right software and digital platforms in place that will help keep productivity at a high level. Several companies provide excellent ServiceNow managed services to help improve a business’ chance at beating the pandemic’s adverse economic effects.
Employers should also train and encourage managers to come to terms with the fact that face-to-face presence is no longer a factor in gauging employee performance and productivity. When managers start trusting and showing confidence in their workers, employees are more likely to do better work because of the confidence it builds. A motivated and confident person does great work any day of the week.
Given the circumstances we’re in, a hybrid work model will be trumped by one that grants workers greater flexibility, greater accountability, and greater confidence.