Many of the changes that workplaces have faced—the abrupt move to remote work, for example—have been a long time coming, but would’ve otherwise taken years, or longer, to implement. Workplaces should now be thinking about capitalizing on this momentum to continue embracing change in the workplace for the better.
Embracing change in the workplace means accepting that the way people work has changed.
A trend that precedes COVID-19 is research consistently finding that employees are more productive when working remotely at least part of the time. Continuing to offer flexible work options is an important part of embracing change in the workplace and allowing employees better work-life balance.
Embracing work from home or hybrid work models means focusing on creating a positive remote work environment. Many organizations feel that in-person collaboration is essential to their company culture, but there are many ways that you can build a tight knit team remotely. Here are some suggestions:
- Ensure that you have a strong company culture and values in general. These will permeate throughout your workforce, no matter the distance between employees.
- Embrace rituals. Along with regular team meetings and 1:1s, offer optional events such as monthly virtual lunch-and-learns or weekly happy hours.
- Create a comprehensive onboarding process. Your plan should include what to do on week 1, 2, and at the 30, 60, and 90 day markers.
- Provide support. Whether it’s through regular check-ins, offering resources for mental health support, or creating work support groups, your employees will benefit from regular support as they work remotely.
- Be adaptable. It’s important to be willing to try different approaches to engaging your remote employees and change things up as necessary.
Consider implementing a more casual workplace dress code for when your employees are in office.
Many workplaces have shifted to a “business comfortable” model of dress code, rather than the usual business casual or business formal attire. While this will be a step up for many people that have been working from home in sweatpants for nearly two years, it allows more flexibility and will be an easier transition.
Embracing change in the workplace will be just as important post-pandemic as it has been during the pandemic. To keep employees engaged and happy, organizations will have to continue to emphasize and improve the employee experience.