Wondering what our work environment will be like in 2022 is the question on many of our minds. The pressure is on other companies to make a choice. Industry giants like Facebook, Google, and Salesforce have taken positions on remote work versus in-person. Facebook and Google insist on an in-person workplace that is fully vaccinated, Salesforce opposes this choice. Salesforce is letting its employees work remotely and try out a four-day workweek.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to navigating the post-pandemic workforce, according to Hannah Ubl and Lisa Walden. Ubl and Walden are co-founders of Good Company Consulting and are experts on company culture. After working with several organizations, Ubl and Walden have laid out some foundational steps to help corporations make this decision.
Understand the “Why”
Before discussing the return to remote or in-person work, everyone already knows which they prefer. However, it is important to understand why we feel this way before deciding whether our teams should return to the workplace. Understanding the "why" behind your reasoning can help everyone address some issues facing teams and leadership.
According to Ubl, the key to making any change is to set realistic expectations. Outline why and how you came to your decision. Explain how you plan to modify the work/life balance that has become an aspect of their remote office. Walden emphasizes the importance of setting limits when it comes to work/life integration in the office style you pick.
Leaders must be mindful about work interfering with home life, even if their team has returned to in-person working. Set boundaries to safeguard your team's mental health and productivity. Setting an example is the best way to set these expectations and boundaries. Prioritizing your employees' mental health is key if you want to get the best from them.
Make it clear that this is a test run when laying out your plans for a post-pandemic workforce. Because your organization has never dealt with this situation and everyone is learning as we go, ask your staff for some grace. Monitor its progress and how everyone is adjusting to the new environment regularly. Above all, check in with your staff often. This transition may appear overwhelming, but with guidance, it can propel your company into its next chapter of success.
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