This article is based on brand new data and insights gained during the lockdown, where lots of companies decided to survey their employees. They wanted to find out:
There are 4 dimensions to consider when you think about returning to the workplace:
Let’s look at each of these areas in a bit more detail:
“97% of people said that their company was quick to put policies and procedures in place for lockdown.”
Health and safety often traditionally has not been the remit of HR / people management.
In a way, that’s now changed. Everyone’s acutely aware of their personal safety and what could affect them, so it’s important to talk about this when sharing new guidelines for your people. Even if it’s an office manager or operations/facilities team who’s making the physical changes.
This is what people are concerned about, and what you need to plan for
“94% said that remote working tools were put in place quickly for lockdown.”
That’s a huge shift from the same time last year when asked the same question to around 2000 companies, only 46% said that overall they had the tools, systems or processes they needed to do their jobs. That jumped up to 89% during lockdown. Now, we are seeing a drop again to 80% with a downwards trend.
We think the pandemic actually created a lot of goodwill and understanding. People were naturally less critical because of the severity of the situation, plus there’s definitely been an element of camaraderie.
But the novelty of working from home is starting to wear off. While lots of people were juggling childcare and vulnerable relatives, others were enjoying the comfort of being at home and not having to commute.
What you need to think about as an HR manager / people manager
Research from the World Health Organisation shows that 1 in 4 people will suffer with mental illness at work, but only 1 in 16 feel comfortable talking to their manager about it.
It’s more important than ever to think about people’s personal needs.
Our data shows that 15% said their manager didn’t care about their wellbeing. 16% of people said their manager did not show consideration for their personal needs. That’s significant in the current climate.
The key thing to tackle here is to make sure line managers are encouraged, trained and empowered to put care of their people front of the centre of their teams.
One thing that stands out from the data is that regardless of industry, people are showing a preference for continuing to work from home. So for roles where this is not an option, you need to track and understand how this might affect attrition.