Has your organisation remained productive throughout the pandemic, even as everybody works separately from their homes?
If so, you could be thinking about giving up that expensive office lease.
However, don't be too hasty. According to in-depth research by the Adecco Group, 77% of UK employees believe that 'hybrid working' – a mix of office-based and remote working – is the best way forwards once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
In a recent thought piece, the CIPD state that, since "fears about falling productivity have not been realised… most employers expect hybrid ways of working to become commonplace post-pandemic."
As you might imagine, hybrid working is a particularly popular choice for working parents, with 57% keen on striking a flexible balance between time spent in the office and at home.
"Fun" is a word that has been sorely lacking over the past year, particularly in the final months of winter.
And according to recent data from workplace consultants Peldon Rose, it's been getting to us.
A third of the employees who participated in their survey admitted that their productivity had taken a nosedive since the pandemic began, with 48 per cent putting the blame on a lack of fun and motivation.
This isn't surprising, perhaps, when opportunities to laugh and joke with our colleagues in person at the coffee machine, in meetings, or over a lively lunch, have dwindled to nothing.
As lockdown rumbles into what we hope will be its final stage, here are some suggestions for you to bring a much-needed sense of fun back to your remote workforce.
As the influential management thinker Peter Drucker once famously said, "you can't manage what you can't measure."
This is the first benefit of an HR compliance audit, which provides an effective method for your organisation to measure its adherence to people-related processes and legislation.
In short, are you doing what you say you do? Are there policy gaps that need to be addressed? Which areas could be improved upon?
The third national UK lockdown may have officially begun on 5th January, but for many people, it will have felt much longer ago.
As well as coping with the intense, stressful 'stop-start' environment we currently live in, we are also trying to keep ourselves and our families fed, watered, motivated, and in some cases, educated from the kitchen table.
And as if all that wasn't bad enough, we've still got another long, dark month of winter in lockdown ahead.
In times like these, it is vital that employers provide an effective programme of support. Here are three ways to help your staff avoid burnout in February.
An intensely challenging year that was characterised by uncertainty and chaos, waving goodbye to 2020 felt like a huge relief for many people.
Yet as we all know, the economic fallout is far from over. According to a recent People Management article, there were more than 800,000 UK job losses since the start of the pandemic, as companies of all shapes and sizes struggled to stay afloat.
The good news is that with an extension of the job retention scheme, not to mention the promise of a Covid vaccination schedule, there is hope on the horizon for 2021.
However, last summer ACAS reported that redundancy-related calls had "shot up by 160%" from 2019. Further restructuring – and redundancies – will be unavoidable for many organisations as the year unfolds, creating a landscape of further insecurity.
Amidst such heightened anxiety about the job market and our general wellbeing, the way organisations choose to approach and implement their restructuring plans matters more now than ever before.
Here are some tips on how to carry out the process with both confidence, and much-needed compassion.
Happy new year!
Saying goodbye to 2020, one of the toughest years in living memory, surely has to count as a form of motivation in itself.
However, with Covid restrictions still in place for some time to come, the January blues may seem far bleaker than usual for many of your employees.
Still unable to connect properly in person, and with most day-to-day work still being carried out from home, it's easy to feel that nothing has changed except the date.
Luckily, there are many simple and cost-effective strategies to help keep everybody motivated as we head into this brand-new year. Here are some examples.
Has your organisation put recruitment on hold?
According to a recent CIPD report on embedding post-pandemic ways of working, 44% of the organisations surveyed are recruiting as usual. Meanwhile, 19% have either increased, or are planning to increase, their recruitment activity.
These figures point to the fact that, Covid or no Covid, postponing recruitment plans isn't an option for every organisation. For some, the pandemic may even have fuelled a need to replace and upscale their workforce.
Yet with severely limited social interaction, and with the vast majority of office-based staff now working from home, there are several barriers to effective recruitment.
For example, it could be many months before a new joiner is able to take a tour of your office, or meet the rest of the team in person. How can you ensure they feel like a valued part of your organisation, if right from their first day, they are working from home?
Here are some suggestions on how to adjust your recruitment process, so your organisation can attract, engage, and onboard the right people during the pandemic.
If there's one word that could be used to describe 2020 so far, it's "uncertain."
The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked immense, unprecedented change over how we live and work, and the way forwards is still unclear. To help manage the second wave of the virus, England has just entered a second lockdown; one that some news reports claim may last into 2021.
With swathes of people instructed to work from home until the foreseeable future, there is at least one reliable forecast: remote working is here to stay.
This means that, just as companies have adapted their business practices to the rise of technology, their leaders must now adapt to the rise of the remote workforce.
The route to home working
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report that "before Covid-19, one in three of us worked from home at least one day a week."
This figure rose to 60% in July, with 46% - almost half the UK population – working from home on five days per week.
Prominent companies have announced long-term plans for remote working, including Lloyds Banking Group, who recently stated that staff will be working at home until spring 2021 at least. Meanwhile, Deloitte has decided not to renew the property leases on four of its key UK offices, giving over 500 staff the opportunity to work from home full time.
These reports support the recent CIPD finding that "employers expect the proportion of the workforce that works from home regularly to double (to 37%)" even after the crisis is over.
Once upon a time, allowing employees to work from home was a flexible 'nice to have' for many organisations. Now, in the face of a devastating global pandemic, home-working policies are helping businesses to survive.
Not only that, working from home comes with an unprecedented wealth of additional challenges. For example, there is a new need for many people to keep on top of their workload, whilst simultaneously educating their children from the kitchen table.
Not to mention those people who do their best work in an open and collaborative environment, now forced to isolate themselves with their laptop (and perhaps a partner whom they are fast realising they don't get on with).
In short, the new rules are very different to those we've ever seen before. It is therefore worth taking some time to review your home-working policy and procedures, to ensure they not only work for your employees, but are able to benefit your organisation as a whole.