In the last few months we (me and Danielle) have networked consistently, and there has been one thing we have heard a few times, that gave us both cause for concern.
Organisations/business’s making the decision to maintain their WFH communities (as the world slowly re-opens) and either considerably downsize their physical workspace (office) or walk away from it completely
We fully understand that this measure has in many cases, been taken due to the financial toll that this pandemic has placed on the business, but our concern is for the long term implications on the workforce and what measures have been out in place to support the mental well-being of employees?
They may be productive and coping now because the pandemic has forced us into a non-optional scenario, but that is changing and many will be desperate to get out the house and back into a ‘normal’ environment
Cast your mind back to the re-opening of McDonald’s after lock-down, and the hundreds that flocked to the drive-thru’s and were willing to sit for up to an hour at times in order to have that Big Mac they have been craving……so many simply couldn’t understand this human behaviour, why would they sit and wait so long for ‘junk food’?
It is my opinion (Steph) that they were willing to sit, because they craved some sort of normality in their lives after being restrained for so long. A small glimmer of hope that their lives as they knew it, were resuming, and this will be the case for many of those currently WFH.
When normality resumes, they will crave that work space and all that comes with it…and if it is not an option, there is a good chance they will seek to find it. Or alternatively, stick it out WFH, but their mental health will decline along with their productivity and performance.
Now of course, this wont be the case for everyone, just like sitting in a queue for McDs, and they will continue to thrive and even excel….but we cannot place a ‘One size fits all’ solution to a team made up of multiple personalities, and it may become apparent that a short team solution becomes a long term issue
So what can be done?
Starting out by understanding your team and all the fabulous personalities that make it successful, is a great starting point in finding a way forwards with a people first culture.
Investing in Your Culture Should Have a Lasting Impact—and Now It Can.