Are we normal?
A guest article from James Rowell, Advent Management
For many businesses coming out of lockdown in recent months the question has been “Are we back to normal now?”
In some sectors not much will have been so different over the last 2 years, food needed to be delivered to grocery stores, bins needed to be emptied, laundry needed to be washed. Maybe, those strict ‘cleaning stations’ have been brushed aside now that the virus has subsided.
However, for people returning to work – let’s consider office-based organisations, it has become a bigger question for business owners to face up to. Can the work still be done at home? Do we want everyone in the office? What do the staff think about it now? Was WFH only a ‘work-around’ during the pandemic or can it offer new opportunities – for the staff and for the business?
Talking recently to a professional business owner, they are still in the process of re-balancing the office/home working schedule. Whilst most of the team live within a 30-minute commute, some of these people wish to continue to work from home.
The obvious motivations are the ability to schedule work around domestic activities more easily, and the saving of time and money by not commuting.
On the other hand, some prefer the office, maybe because of its social interactions, and the ease of asking for advice ‘over the desk’ rather than more formally through emails. Another reason may be, that for different reasons working at home isn’t ideal (space, family, work complexity). Which brings to light the obvious issue – how can people communicate easily, how can knowledge and experience be developed; especially when managing customer’s issues, as is the case in this professional organisation?
This business has landed on a compromise – work 2 days per week in the office, and everyone comes to the office on Wednesday. This overcomes some of the issues of being ‘a team’ and offers the flexibility for people to manage their own work schedule.
In a different, much larger organisation (primarily information systems) – communication is even more complex. As reported to me – the simple case of just booking a time to have a team meeting takes far longer when staff are working remotely.
For business owners and managers there are other perspectives to consider – can work be done at home, how can we manage and communicate work scheduling? Now it’s no longer an expedient issue, a ‘have to work around’, how can we guarantee the quality and security of the working environment and processes, and ensure new working practices are safe for the business, the staff and the customers?
Advent Management works with businesses to make their operational activities run more smoothly, working with you to develop processes that deliver consistent service for customers, and making them easier to use, more reliable and cost effective.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to talk through your process delivery.
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