Happiness and Humans Community Roundtable event summary
This week we hosted our second Happiness & Humans community round table. The session was focused on returning to the office and re-imagining the future of work post lockdown! Because this is such a hot topic for many organisations, we wanted to share our discussion to hopefully spark some new ways of thinking as we approach planning and strategising for the future of work!
The session kicked off with some thought-provoking questions, “Are you rethinking the purpose of your workplace? What role and purpose do you see it playing in the future?”
Unsurprisingly, everyone on the call has decided to move towards a hybrid working policy or were in the process of refining their current flexible working policy to fit the new normal. The three key concerns brought up with the new ways of working were
- How can we create more collaborative office spaces?
- When it comes to regional salary banding and working from home, how do we compensate for this?
- When senior leaders want more predictability of when people choose to come into the office, how can we ensure that “flexibility” is still there?
NEEDS OF YOUR PEOPLE VS NEEDS OF YOUR BUSINESS
When points like these are raised, it’s really important to go back to basics & reflect on the purpose of adopting a flexible policy. Ask yourself “What is the purpose of what we are trying to change?” Accommodating for everyone is a colossal task and there needs to be a balance of understanding the needs of people vs. the business when working out the best hybrid working model.
Play your own game
Another great point brought up is that many organisations tend to watch what others are doing in response to the new ways of working and will start comparing. This is great to learn from each other but it can tend to create competition to have the most flexibility/benefits. It’s important to consider here what works best for YOUR business. Not every organisation has the capability to do the same thing that Spotify and Google are doing and that’s okay!
Focusing on the future of work
We ended the roundtable with a few minutes to spare by asking these final questions, “Have you seen a more human, empathetic approach to leadership emerge during the pandemic? Do you think that command and control organisational structures will continue or be replaced?” All around the answer was a solid YES.
More organisations are putting a big focus on supporting employee wellbeing and mental health than ever before. The hierarchical structure is collapsing to a flat structure which helps enable more open and honest communication. Now that most of us are ditching the office the benefits focused on supporting employee wellbeing and development are going to be the main attraction, not the ping pong tables!
Keeping all of these points in mind as well as asking for input from your employees is a great way to help reimagine the future of work in your organisation. Listening to your people can help you understand the impact that the pandemic has had on workplace culture. Once you know the impact, this can give you a great understanding of where to begin to start making changes and help cultivate a thriving culture for the future!
If you’d like to be a part of the conversation or hear about our next roundtable session, join the Happiness & Humans community to get the latest updates!
*Huge thanks to Victoria Hall, Sanika Thomas, Ellie McCluskey, Clare Rutherford, Tito Ogunsanya, Caroline O’Keefe and Lucy Hennessey for your insights and ideas in this session!