In certain quarters, the debate about what work will look like post-Covid seems to be simply a question of what employers decide to do next - whether they opt for a ‘return to former normal’, a ‘working from home’ model, or a hybrid of the two.
The real question, however, is what your people decide to do next, for there is no doubt about it, the past eighteen months have opened eyes to what is possible, and how many people could be tantalisingly close to the much talked about, but very elusive, work/life balance.
At a time like this, there’s never been a greater need for collaboration and for honest and open communication. If not, we could be headed down the road to the mother of all disagreements as to what form of ‘new normal’ will keep both employers and employees happy in the long term.
For companies who have adopted the Frankli platform, honest and open communication is simplicity itself. And in particular, the facility to carry out regular pulse surveys is an exceptionally powerful tool. It allows you to get answers to the big questions about how your people are thinking and feeling – in double-quick time.
You could push out a survey on what sort of return to work model is favoured and have reliable and robust results within a day or two. And equally, you could go a step further by asking additional questions about the work/life equation. These could include:
How well are you equipped for working from home? Do you have a dedicated workspace other than the kitchen table? Do you have a spouse or partner or other family members also working from home, and if so, does this place pressure on resources like a workspace.
Do you have high-quality broadband? In many cases, this is one of the first questions that need to be asked in deciding whether a new generation of digital workers can divorce themselves from the office – fully or partially.
Is the nature of your work solitary or team-based? There are numerous collaboration tools on the market that enable working in teams while being absent from the main work hub. That said, many believe that there is a collaboration premium to be had when you can catch up with a colleague at the water cooler and check how things are going on a project, or casually drop by a colleague’s office to share that eureka moment that occurred to you when you woke up this morning.
Do you like your own company? Ask the freelance community about working on a solitary basis and many of them will tell you that it’s very difficult to thrive without the banter and the collegiality of the workplace. Others, however, will tell you proudly of how much they can achieve without any interruptions. Neither camp is right nor wrong, but we don’t believe in putting square pegs in round holes, and it’s something that companies should be aware of when talking to team members who express a preference for trying the WFH model.
What’s your total daily commute? This may sound like a strange question to ask, but the fact of the matter is that many people clock up three to four hours in the car or on the train each workday. It’s very important that you know this, as it makes a very strong case for allowing team members to predominantly work away from the main office HQ. Do you really want a team who are exhausted at the end of each week? Wouldn’t you prefer a team bouncing with energy and freshness?
The bottom line is that when it comes to having the conversation in your company as to what work will look like in the short-term and mid-term, it’s extremely helpful to be armed with the knowledge of how your people are thinking.
This has simply never been easier with a pulse surveys from Frankli, so get thinking today about the questions you’d like to put to your people!
For further information on how Frankli can help you understand how your people feel about returning to the office? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org