Published in the Peterborough Telegraph on Thursday 23rd December 2021
Do you see what I did there? If you take away the quote marks, it turns the content of this topic into a whole different area!
But let’s stay with the quote marks. Organisations are back to being told that their employees, if they can – then they should work from home. I know from interactions with my clients, that when employees could return to the workplace, a lot of hybrid working policies and practices were implemented to accommodate their employees desire to mix and match their working environment, following a period of twelve months solely working from home.
Bringing employees back into the workplace was no mean feat. Organisations had physical Covid health and safety implications to implement and manage, not to mention the way employees had to travel to and from the office – private or public transport. With the physical issues addressed, there were the more intangible and varying degrees of their employee’s mental wellbeing about traveling to and working within, a populated office environment. This was not under the sole control of the employee in relation to managing their interactions for which they felt was safe.
Now, organisations are having to flex, respond and adapt once again as their employees – where they can, are now back solely working from home. This time though, organisations are starting from a very different position. Company’s now have the IT infrastructure to support home working and employees have the knowledge and experience to use technology to continue to facilitate their working life. However, it’s the Christmas school holidays, and families have plans and many businesses close during this festive period or operate on a skeleton basis. Therefore, it is not going to be until the 4th January 2022 that organisations will truly feel the impact of having to revert back to purely working from home and the knock on potential of difficulty for the employee, their manager and the business.
Organisations, once again, don’t know how long ‘if you can, work from home’ it is going to be and so are going to have to dig deep. I recommend organisations reviewing, and if needs be updating, their hybrid working policy and re-distributing to employees. For managers to use their previous experience of successful remote managing and for employees to accept the situation and embrace the support offered from their colleagues, managers and organisations. And in the meantime, enjoy Christmas!