- The novel coronavirus pandemic has created an opportunity for employers to "hit reset" on traditional workplace practices, staffing firm The Adecco Group said June 30 — and individuals say they're on board.
- In a recent survey from the organization, respondents generally said they are in favor of hybrid arrangements that allow for telework and on-site work. They also expressed support for "results-driven" work over a requirement they work set hours, The Adecco Group said.
- The findings show that employee attitudes have shifted and that a gap now exists between workforce expectations and entrenched processes, the organization's CEO, Alain Dehaze, said in a statement. "As we step into the new era of work, now is the time to establish better norms that will enable a holistically healthy, productive and inclusive workforce into the future." The research surveyed 8,000 white-collar workers from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.
While some employers were already testing creative changes such as four-day workweeks before the pandemic, the virus has forced many more to reconsider how and where work gets done.
As of June, one in four workers in the U.S. are considered high-risk for serious implications of COVID-19.
Companies must be mindful of treading on employee privacy when preparing for a return to the office. Tech companies, including Microsoft, have launched health screening and contact tracing solutions to mitigate risk in offices.
Experts have predicted the workplace will never look the same post-pandemic and employers' re-opening plans may bear that out, with some closing common areas, erecting barriers and creating "family work groups." Still more have said they'll forego the office entirely, moving to an entirely distributed workforce model.
CIOs will take on a new role when (or if) offices reopen and will interact with all of their C-suite counterparts. Regular employee engagement or surveying will play a role in sustaining employee well-being. For the first time, CIOs have to ensure they're deploying satisfactory tools without in-person feedback justifying their decisions.
At home, employees are using some tools for eight hours-straight every day, for the first time. Balancing a hybrid office environment also means CIOs might have to ask questions beyond their traditional territory: how comfortable employees are transitioning to at-home and in-office desk setups, where employees live, and tools that can be extended to both environments.
When it comes to such changes, there may be no one-size-fits-all strategy but HR can work to gauge employee preferences and implement new policies evenly and clearly. Communication is key, experts previously told HR Dive. "Now is the time to reintroduce more empathy and understanding into our policies and processes," Andi Britt, senior partner — talent and transformation, IBM Services, previously told HR Dive. "Your employees will remember how you treat them when under pressure and how you listen to their concerns."