HR today: The future of the workplace
The pandemic enforced mass working from home and it has led to employees wanting more flexibility as there has been a realisation across the workforce that it’s better for work/life balance. It did highlight issues where ‘in office’ processes & communication worked but trying to deliver this across a workforce in many different places was tricky.
However, employees, in general, enjoyed having more flexibility and freedom to work as they saw fit, which as I highlighted earlier is really important to today’s workforce. Nationwide have recently surveyed employed individuals and found that 78% of employees want to work some/most of the time from home while CIPD found that 86% want more flexibility.
Unsurprisingly research from Lumia has found that workers are keener on home working than bosses - which is interestingly linked to the “psychology of the boss” so senior managers are often more likely to be more extroverted and enjoy time popping over to peoples desks for face to face conversations and brainstorms, they’ve been deskilled essentially from being able to do that, so for HR there is a real challenge there to really try and fight both corners to create strategies that work best for everyone. Linking this into retention and acquisition will be a driving factor to change the opinion of leaders with that viewpoint.
There is also a link to wellbeing here with many people struggling with full time working from home in environments that might not be ideal and needing the right equipment and support on technology but also on mental health and wellbeing too. Equally, full-time office isn’t right either with this being linked to the idea of ‘the great resignation’ where they don’t want to pay for a daily commute, or waste time doing it, they want more time with their families and time to focus on what’s important.
So hybrid is clearly the only solution now and what that looks like in your organisation will depend on how your leadership teams want to balance the benefits and drawbacks. Trying to make everyone happy is ultimately impossible but what we’ve found is that a hybrid model works best for most people, so keeping your office open but allowing for flexibility in hours or locations that work best for managers and their teams. Open dialogues between employees, managers, HR and the C-Suite are really important here for ongoing reviews into what’s working and what isn’t where everyone’s voice gets heard. Remember You can always change or tweak policies on this going forward, it is new to everyone, so as long as this is communicated properly it is possible to do.
Within HR as well hybrid working has created more of a need for digitisation in HR & new skills from HR staff to accommodate this particularly as some HR solutions can be difficult to learn, or set up or aren’t supported that well by platforms or staff leading to technical issues.
Some challenges with hybrid are looking at areas like communication, so this might be employee-manager based or top-level company information based - both need to be looked at to ensure the best employee experience for any remote and office-based staff. Consistency and fairness in employee experience and performance management, which also links to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to make sure there isn’t a proximity bias to those working in the office more often. Coaching for wellbeing is another key one here as well as enhancing both practical and emotional support for staff.
Innovate your HR to drive The Future of the Workplace
HR tech can bring your processes online, creating ease of use, access and consistency across your business wherever your staff are working. Using simple, efficient workflows and templates for performance management, onboarding new starters and managing leave can all create a better employee experience, improve employee retention and save your time to focus on other HR initiatives. When your employees are not always working from the same location, this is more important than ever before.
Ensure visibility of Company, Team and Personal objectives so that all your employees are kept in the loop. If you have a clear, defined plan within your HR solution then you can share this across the workforce and bring the company into alignment with what is expected and where you are all headed. This kind of transparency helps you to not only achieve your goals but to have happy employees who feel included in the bigger picture.
Simple, fast access to the information that employees need to know, should know and would like to know is crucial when it comes to supporting your staff through a hybrid working or remote working model. Everyone needs to have quick access to information, policies, company updates and more. The more friendly you can make these, the better! Try using company videos for onboarding, training or key messages to help keep your employees engaged from afar.
Knowing where your employees are working from is obviously important to any business leader or manager, but do you know this information? Do you know where employees are planning to work next week? Having a tool within your HR tech that allows for location planning and location recording helps eradicate any uncertainty as to what is happening across the organisation. And remember it is not only your management teams who like to see this information, but it is also important for employees to be aware of their colleague’s whereabouts, but this also helps with their own location planning for meetings they wish to have in-person or planning for those all-important catch ups!
How can Appogee HR help?
Here’s a closer look at how some of the features we offer in our tools can help you with The Future of the Workplace.
Appogee HR Essentials: Our core HR management solution includes staff location recording and planning, employee profiles and records with self-service, company document and policy management and HR reporting. Also includes Appogee Leave for absence tracking.
Appogee HR Success: Our advanced HR management system includes HR Essentials and Leave but additionally includes advanced performance management, onboarding, company goal management and more!