Now that we are beginning to see light at the end of the Corona tunnel, the question arises as to how to proceed with working from home - we often hear about " returning to normality" and "bringing employees back to the office". At this point, we see enormous potential for innovation and development: the current situation offers organisations and managers the perfect opportunity to review processes and start the company's own development process - all the way to an individual work model. We accompany you with tips and considerations on how you can shape workplace culture in the "new normal" and why positive leadership is key!
Hybrid Working on the rise
Already before the Covid 19 pandemic, the trend towards more flexible working models had become apparent. In some cases, flexitime models or, albeit hesitantly, the possibility of working from home were introduced. The lockdown then dramatically accelerated this shift, leading to a rapid and radical change in the way we work. While in 2018 just under 24% of office employees reported working from home for at least half a day, today it is 52% working from home for most of the time (still partly due to corona).
"Instead of going back to normal, we should look forward and take the opportunity to further develop our culture." Thomas Schneider, Co-Owner & Consultant
Now that we are beginning to see light at the end of the Corona tunnel, the question arises as to how to proceed with working from home - we often hear about " returning to normality" and "bringing employees back to the office". However, a representative survey by Deloitte shows that only 12% of Swiss employees would like to return to the office full-time, while 88% can imagine a "new normal" that includes at least one day of remote work.
The majority of Swiss employees would prefer a hybrid working model (62%), where they can flexibly choose between office and home office, respectively remote working, instead of working completely remotely in the future (26%).
Who, how much, from where?
When it comes to implementation, the question is: who, how much, from where? But be careful, it is not about who should be allowed how much home office or remote working. Rather, it is about meeting the needs of each employee and finding individual solutions.
For many, this is new territory and often there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for every organisation. In the future, it will be primarily a matter of achieving the right balance between home office and office work. In most cases, however, this will not be clear from the start. So think of the coming months as a transitional phase, experiment ( even implement suggestions from employees if possible) and observe where the balance settles. Pay particular attention to the feedback from your employees, whose needs for personal contact and exchange with work colleagues on the one hand and for security and protection from the virus on the other hand may vary.
Shaping workplace culture
The challenges of the Corona crisis have shown the importance of a trust-based workplace culture. Organisations with an excellent workplace culture have coped particularly well with the challenges associated with working from home and leadership at a distance. The main drivers include communication, leadership and, first and foremost, trust.
Trust-based collaboration was and is essential for long-term success in hybrid work models: both trust between managers and employees and trust among employees are needed.
The success of a hybrid workplace likewise strongly reflects leadership competence. Open, transparent and clear communication is just as important as showing appreciation, encouraging and motivating employees and maintaining a sense of community. The more dispersed the workplace, the more important it becomes to have connecting elements that create unity. And what connects more than an overarching goal - a common mission?
Are you interested in hybrid working, new work, leadership and how workplace culture can be shaped in the "new normal"?