With the global pandemic came a workplace revolution that overnight saw the world of work fast forward by 10 or 20 years. Just two years later and everything’s changed. It’s an employee’s market, location-based hiring is obsolete and the global workforce are calling for change. To compete and grow, businesses need to overcome the organisational challenges they face to attract and retain top quality talent from around the Globe.
On the flip of a coin, entire nations were instructed to work from home and a chaotic kitchen table kind of ‘flexible/ remote’ working became the only way for businesses to survive. As employees we quickly learnt how wonderful it was to lose the commute and become masters of our own day, but realised what we missed about the workplace too, the loss of connection and creativity, the feeling of isolation despite relentless meetings on zoom and the blurring of lines between work and home.
There’s no arguing with statistics about the impact on employee mental health. Burnout is on the rise with employees working longer days and feeling less connected. The CIPD reported that 45% of employees felt their mental health had deteriorated because of the COVID -19 lockdown.
It’s 2022 and the world of work has completely evolved. Deepak Chopra’s mantra that, “All great changes are preceded by chaos”, rings true, as we tentatively iron out the creases of this great change. A survey conducted by Future Forum reported that 93% of ‘knowledge workers’ want a flexible schedule, and 76% want flexibility in where they work. A Mercer/ AECOM employee study showed that 60% of employees would consider switching employer if flexibility was not an option.
Employees have spoken and acceptance is key.
There is no going back, and organisational change is coming whether businesses like it or not. Flexible and remote/ hybrid working models are here to stay and employees expect it, rather than see it as a benefit for a trusted lucky few.
It’s not always easy to navigate such a huge organisational shift and COVID-19 forced change years before most were ready. An entirely new workplace culture, a visionary leadership team, a remote office and even the technology to facilitate all of this doesn’t just fall into place overnight.
The solution is four Infrastructural building blocks that need to be in place to shore up the core changes within a business and create the best conditions for remote/ hybrid working. Not only for current employees, but to attract the best global workforce too.
Each of these blocks builds on the next, with Employee Mental Health and Wellbeing at the top.
Job seekers know what they are looking for and the best talent will need to see that there are robust policies and systems in place.
The Building Blocks of Change
1. Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Establish a good communication culture
- Make it simple to engage and collaborate
- Become a good listener/ pick up the phone/ video call
- Encourage personal connections remotely
2. Hybrid/ Remote Working Policy
- Change your mindset to focus on output not input.
- Set clear expectations and boundaries and lead by example.
- Put guidelines for flexibility and core hours in place. Ideally, ALL of the team should be working together for at least some of the day.
- Promote equality and include everyone - no matter where the team are or what hours they work.
- Create communication guidelines and expectations.
3. Robust Digital Infrastructure
- ‘Always on’ access to information.
- Easy to use and reliable.
- Lead the way with consistent communications channels used by everyone for everything, from software to file sharing.
4. Recruitment & HR Policy
- Remember geography is obsolete. Recruit on skills and personality.
- Increase diversity to maximise creativity and a strong team.
- Seek out greater soft skills, meritocracy, independence, communication.
- It’s a candidate’s market. Use AI to save time and budgets to access global talent and make data driven hiring decisions.
With borders removed, the war for talent is on. Candidates are aware of the importance of these aspects of their role and the businesses that can demonstrate efficient infrastructure and thoughtful working policies, whilst prioritising mental health and valuing EVERY employee, will come out at the top of their game.
With all this in mind, how do you plan to change your recruitment strategy in 2022? Are you planning on embracing remote/ hybrid working and putting policies in place to protect and prioritise your employee’s mental health? It would be great to hear about what policies have worked for you and how this has positively impacted your team and new hires.
To ensure you recruit the best staff in this new work revolution, contact 360WORK for a cost effective, time efficient way to find the best employees, consultants, or freelancers for your projects.