HR can provide advice and guidance to their leadership teams about what aspects of the current working situation they should retain or discard. I think being deliberate about what that looks like will be the key to the retention of staff. If the leadership aren’t clear about what their expectations are – let’s say about working from home – then staff may make assumptions, leaders may then get cross because “that wasn’t what I wanted” and then a decision is made to scrap working from home altogether because “it didn’t work”. What actually happened was someone made a very minor mistake, it was agreed that it was because they worked from home and it derailed the best opportunity anyone has (ever) seen for a universal working from home policy.
I should also add that I am well aware that HR have been busier than usually recently (can’t imagine why…) but here are some things that I’ve thought about that you may need to have answers to:
COVID-19 the reason everyone can now #wfh?
Everyone has had the opportunity to work from home for a long enough period for its novelty factor to wear off, to understand how it best works for them and what they like and dislike about it. I would like to think that there will be an upswing in the number of people, men included that want to work from home after isolation has ended. The question is, how will leaders and HR teams manage this and set expectations early about what this will look like?
I may be very naïve, but I hope that the results from the WGEA report for 2020/2021 demonstrate some improvement in the uptake of flexible work arrangements for both men and women. Might it be possible that the last 4-6 weeks of working from home instigate the biggest increase to the answer for question 14.1 in the WGEA questionnaire about flexible work options? I am excited to see the results.
For sustained change to occur, I think deliberation consideration need to be given to the following:
In the rush to get people working from home, conversations didn’t take place to discuss what will work best, what support is available, what is expected, how often people need to check in. People have made it up as they went and, dare I say it, had to be agile and flexible in making it work. There was no other choice. Now there is choice, what deliberate decisions are you going to make?
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