Rebuilding for a New Better
The Dublin Work Travel Convene Coalition, March 2021
Place added emphasis on identifying new risk areas within the businesses and develop a strategy which will help to reduce exposure to future pandemics, natural disasters or other unforeseen events.
Make change management an integral aspect of the development and training of managers across an organisation.
Continue to embrace digital transformation at speed in order to put in place the tools and supports required to support a remote workforce over the long-term.
Understand an organisation’s cyber position and exposures. Rollout frequent cybersecurity training for all employees in order to reduce potential exposure to cyber breaches and ensure modern privacy guidelines are in place to govern the use of company devices by employees.
Business leaders should seek to use the COVID-19 recovery framework to develop growth strategies that enhance business agility while also helping to combat common societal challenges such as climate change.
Devise new long-term strategies to maintain health and safety standards that can be applied whether an employee is working remotely or in an office environment.
The Coalition considered the following areas with a focus on protecting and building resilience among colleagues.
Ensure effective communications from the very top with senior leaders speaking to the values and culture which shape the company.
In addition to centralised communication from senior leaders, greater emphasis should be placed on tailored and one to one communications from direct line managers who know and understand the specific needs and concerns of employees on their team.
Streamline current protocols governing access to the office so that the numerous tracking and reporting restrictions now required to be put in place can be adhered to by all staff who will return to the office to work.
Provide training for managers to help them effectively manage employees remotely, monitor productivity and maintain employee engagement.
Ensure wellbeing strategies are flexing to support the core pillars of emotional, social, physical, professional and financial wellbeing in this changing environment. Devise a phased approach which frames the return to office, and which gives consideration to those who may disproportionately benefit from an earlier return to their workplace, for example younger members of the team living in shared accommodation.
Maintain focus on equality, diversity and inclusion ensuring visibility, support and opportunity is equally available to all.
While we have gained huge insight into remote and flexible working throughout the pandemic it should not be underestimated how much planning is needed to shape an organisation’s strategy for how they will work best in the future – the real work starts now.
Review working models to understand how they fit with the business strategy, the types of roles involved, how they are currently performed and how they could be performed in the future.
Introduce a more individualised approach to management helping to define the skills and behaviour that can help a workforce succeed in a remote environment.
Re-calibrate employee performance evaluation to ensure that it is equitable, and that challenging remote working setups of some colleagues can be acknowledged.
Adapt talent management models to acknowledge the diverse ways in which employees work.
Integrate remote hiring, onboarding and assessment into an organisation’s talent acquisition framework.
Continuously evolve health and wellbeing offerings, as well as benefits packages, in order to meet the future needs of employees who may work at home, in the office, or in both locations.
Recognise that with the continued evolution of a multigenerational workforce comes a need to diversify the range of wellbeing supports on offer.
Start to think differently about the office and how the space is used. Take employee opinion into account and learn as a team in terms of how the office space can be used into the future with more focus on areas for in-person collaboration to spark creativity and innovation.