by Shannon Long, Consultant at Change Guides
The Covid pandemic has changed the landscape of the way we do business. Overnight, companies and their employees were thrust into a new way of working without much guidance. Just as companies were getting used to a new normal, many organizations are looking to transition people back to the office. And, now in the last few weeks companies are starting to push back and some employers are moving forward return to work dates.
Thus, many employees are getting mixed messages. Companies are giving "back-to-office" start dates and then constantly changing the message.
Change is hard but change with no warning or planning can be even more difficult. Many employees have become accustomed to working remotely. To create successful change, employers need to understand that people are going back to a different kind of office, and they must be prepared.
Be Aware of the Pros and Cons
The roadblocks in the past that kept companies from allowing people to work from home have shown that people are adaptable. And many employees have proven that they can get their jobs done quite successfully remotely. Some companies also saw residual benefits from lower overhead costs, to a more productive workforce, as people did not have to commute and were often able to have flexibility in their workday. People have gotten comfortable to the new norm, and many people have adjusted their lives to work from home. Employers need to be conscious of how their employees will be affected overall. Yet there are pros for being in the office. Our human need to interact with others and the social component and camaraderie that helps make people and teams successful is lacking. There is something to be said about human connection.