Our lives are full of the unexpected, but 2020 has been especially so. It’s been a year of “what else can go wrong”: learning, adapting, adjusting, and readjusting. It’s been one challenge after another. Most of us will be glad when we flip the page on December 31st, and we can look at a new year.
But so what? Experts warn us we have months of the pandemic ahead and the economy seems to be on a long, protracted road to recovery. There are bound to be new challenges ahead, but what can we as leaders do to adapt, survive, and even thrive during this time?
Design a new mindset around work: There are tremendous benefits in having employees work from home, but it’s difficult to maintain a strong culture with remote staff. Innovation and creativity happen more successfully when people are in person. Onboarding and training are more effective. Many leaders are adopting a hybrid in-person/remote model balancing the benefits of both methods. 63% of CEOs who implemented remote work during the pandemic have plans for employees to return to the workplace in some form. Of those, 29% said their plans include voluntary returns with the option to continue remote work.
Reimagining physical workspace: The ability to work from home and improved online meeting tools have dramatically changed office workspace requirements. Organizations are aggressively reconfiguring workspace to create the physical safety workers require. 68% of CEOs are confident employees will feel safe returning to the office if the company has a robust plan.
Rethink benefits: Working from home, flexible schedules, and unlimited vacation used to be options offered by only very progressive companies. To remain competitive, every business needs to be flexible. Many workers have become accustomed to working from home. They have maintained or even increased their productivity without long commutes or the distractions that exist in the office. These new demands present critical decisions as companies seek to retain employees while sustaining productivity and morale.
The genie is out of the bottle. Rather than lament the loss of “business-as-usual”, look for the opportunities coming your way! How will your business evolve in the next 12 months?