The Covid19 crisis has transformed the work organisation.
Companies have had to quickly adapt themselves to implement (almost) total telework, even for those who have never experienced it before. Now, more than a year and a half later, the return to the office is being prepared. But this return seems to be organised differently: part of it is on-site, the other part remote.
Welcome to this new hybrid way of working!
Teleworking: the current norm?
For many of us, teleworking seems to be becoming a “norm”.
Several studies, including one conducted by eBloom, show that people want to continue teleworking more frequently. Some even show that people actively seeking work would be inclined to turn down a job if it didn’t offer teleworking. Why? Because this period of telework has brought out several benefits:
✅ Time saving on the way to and from work
✅ Reduction of transport-related stress
✅ Better concentration
✅ Better work-life balance due to flexible working hours
The eBloom’s study showed that collaborators were more satisfied with their “Lifestyle & Balance” when they work from home. This factor included the feeling of autonomy, having a healthy lifestyle and a good work-life balance.
However, people also wish to return to the office for various reasons:
✅ Getting back to more informal relationships and having real contact with colleagues
✅ Feeling more active and having a more suitable office
✅ Having a clearer separation between home and office
✅ Avoiding hyperconnectivity and screen-related visual fatigue
According to the eBloom’s survey, the office better meets the needs of “Work & Efficiency” and “Team & Management”. These factors include the feeling of development and learning, feeling involved at work, as well as teamwork, communication and relations with colleagues.
All these advantages mean that people are now willing to work both from home and from the office.
To manage a return to the office without generating frustration, it’s recommended to proceed gradually. At first, propose 1 day of office work, then 2, then 3, until finding the right balance.
To reach this balance, it is essential to take into account the needs of collaborators and to clearly express the purpose of returning to work. Highlight the importance of working together, sharing knowledge, having informal moments,…
👉Involve your collaborators in this choice,
👉 Listen to their needs and situations,
👉 Identify their concerns and worries,
💥 3 starting points for developing a teleworking policy that meets the expectations of collaborators and managers.
Let’s not forget that everyone has experienced different situations during this intense teleworking period. It’s therefore important to leave room for flexibility. We could imagine setting a fixed day of telework in the week, especially for team meetings. And perhaps avoid 2 consecutive days of telework to maintain the feeling of belonging to the company. In any case, there is no fixed rule for all companies and no solution that suits everyone. Hence the importance taking the pulse of your people and implementing a policy that includes flexibility.
7 tips to establish the best teleworking policy
How to integrate teleworking while preserving well-being and performance?
1 – Listing the tasks, by week or month
Regularly plan your work with your team. Look at the tasks that can be done at home or that need to be done in the office. List the priority tasks and plan together the moments when it is necessary to collaborate together.
2 – Adopting results-oriented leadership
Learn to be less controlling, especially with regard to work schedules. To do this, it is recommended to move more towards a results-based evaluation. In this way, people will feel that they are being trusted.
3 – Communicate transparently
Ensure regular and transparent communication.
Clearly communicate the desired objectives. This will give collaborators a concrete idea of what is expected of them.
Giving constructive feedback will allow collaborators to improve themselves, which will increase their feeling of growing professionally.
And communicating about the work done will lead to a feeling of recognition.
4 – Keeping flexible working hours
Even when teleworking, it is advisable to allow people flexibility in their working hours. This allows for a better work/life balance. Nevertheless, it is advisable to set fixed time slots at which collaborators must be reachable when working from home.
5 – Maintain informal relations
Organize informal moments with your team, such as a coffeetalk. A sense of belonging must be maintained to promote performance and retention.
6 – Reminding people of the importance of disconnection
Some collaborators are afraid of the negative repercussions if they do not answer e-mails or the telephone directly. Highlight that they can still take some breaks and that it is important to take them. They do not necessarily have to work longer hours when teleworking. The idea of fixed time slots mentioned above can therefore be a solution here too.
7 – Helping to set up a teleworking area in their home
Remind collaborators that, if possible, it is better to work outside the living area. This facilitates the separation of private and professional life and improves concentration.
So even if there is no general rule for a successful return to work, we hope these tips will help in this challenge.
Remember that it is your company culture and the opinion of your collaborators that are your best support!