A knee-jerk reaction or the next era of work-life balance?

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By forcing organisations to figure out how to make telework happen and succeed, Covid-19 has accelerated the digital shift of the workplace by years. No one could have ever expected that a global pandemic would be the catalyst for a long overdue revolution for workplace flexibility. Now as organisations gradually transition back to the office with many keeping telework as an option for employees, business leaders are contemplating their future working models.

So, has Covid-19 been enough of an experiment for organisations to change their workplace flexibility practices forever and think beyond telework? Here are some areas organisations need to consider in their decision-making process.

Cost savings

Many organisations have realised the potential cost savings of a remote workforce and impact it can have on their bottom line. Some organisations are looking to reduce their physical office space to accommodate fewer employees, and organisations considering lifestyle migrants and digital nomads will be looking at salary cost savings these models can deliver with the often lower cost of living in rural areas and countries supporting a location-independent workforce.

Wider talent pool

Implementation of a remote workforce strategy can have huge benefits in talent short markets or for organisations wanting to create a more diverse workforce. When location is no longer a key requirement in the job description, the world can be an organisation’s oyster.

Productivity

In our global survey, 45% of professionals worldwide said their productivity increased while working remotely, due to no commute time, less distractions and more flexibility in how they structure their work schedule. However, as the novelty of working from home starts to wear off, organisations are starting to see cracks in productivity as a result of less face-to-face interactions, diminished social capital and incidental office interactions.

Burnout

While not a new concept, workplace burnout has been exacerbated by Covid-19 and the blurring of lines between work and home. Organisations need to understand the impacts of a remote workforce and develop strategies to support the wellbeing of their employees. Our guide provides advice for combatting workplace burnout.

Culture and unity

A major consideration is how to instil and maintain company values and culture. A growing concern among organisations that have transitioned to remote work is how to ensure the values that are at the core of its success are not lost in the process. However, a loss in physical interaction does not necessarily result in a weakening organisational unity.

Improved work-life balance

Greater workplace flexibility can have positive impacts on employees’ ability to attain work-life balance. For example, working parents who occasionally need to adjust their working schedules to accommodate school events greatly benefit from more flexibility. A happier and healthier workforce can lead to increased productivity, retention and a stronger employer brand in the market, making it easier to attract top talent over the competition.

HR'S ROLE IN THE NEW WORLD OF WORK

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