New workspace ideas to offer businesses increased productivity
Almost overnight, workers worldwide went from a structured work regiment each day to turning whatever free space they had in their homes into virtual office spaces. Now, as the tide changes in the pandemic, a level of normalcy is returning. However, pre-pandemic life has been shifted and no longer exists. We find ourselves in a unique position of adapting to a new way of working.
The mental well-being of employees returning to an office setting has been addressed recently – how to best make workers feel comfortable and at ease with the change.
Now let’s talk about how to keep the level of productivity that employees have displayed during this ‘work-from-home’ period going as they return to in-person work.
Adopting a hybrid workplace
What is a hybrid workplace? Hybrid working means working part of the time remotely and part of the time in the office. Businesses look at the work that needs to be completed and the resources available. From there, determine what can be accomplished remotely (working from home or outside the office) and what can only be done on-site. Businesses develop a schedule that works best for all, allowing some or all staff to work remotely a few days a week or month. This work style is very customizable to cater to not only the needs of the business, but of your employees too.
The creator of Experience Management, Qualtrics, conducted a study which showed that 35% of the workers surveyed would choose to find a new job if their current employer did not offer a hybrid work plan post-pandemic and they were required to return to in-office work, full-time.
Further, the report showed that 1 in 2 workers felt that their overall physical and mental well-being improved while working remotely.
This is something that employers should not take lightly. When employees feel good, they show it in the work they put out. Over the past couple of years, we've seen that productivity has not declined, shifting from in-office to remote. However, we have seen the balance of work and home life shift and realign, creating happier, more well-balanced individuals.
What began as an experiment in business continuity has now proven effective – hybrid working is here to stay, and companies who adapt to this type of work paradigm will benefit from employee satisfaction and retention.
Is your technology up to date?
As employees return to the office, even on a part-time basis, companies would be wise to ensure their technology is updated and offer workers what they need to complete their tasks. Keeping hybrid working in mind, companies should consider investing time and money into finding a cloud storage solution that works best for their needs—allowing file sharing and syncing to complete tasks and projects on time.
As the world changes, be sure you’re up to date with cyber security and protection. If we’ve learned anything from the past couple of years, it’s that things can change in a heartbeat. We must be agile and able to adapt to situations we never see coming. Taking essential steps ahead of time can keep your business safe and operational.
All the comforts of home
It was an adjustment moving from in-office work to home. But it didn’t take long for people to find a balance that worked for them. Being in the comfort of the house gave workers a feeling of calm while performing their day-to-day tasks.
Being surrounded by the comforts of home also allowed individuals to embrace a healthier lifestyle. Being able to go to their kitchen, prepare fresh meals and snacks for lunch and breaks, take walks around the neighborhood to clear their minds during the day, and save money on commuting and food helped improve overall well-being.
As your staff returns to the office, keep all of this in mind. Try to make the office an inviting, welcoming place to work. To entice them to want to come back to the office, offer healthy snacks, a lounge area for mental clarity, and quality office furniture to afford your workers the comfort they’ve grown accustomed to.
Each year most Americans visit their physicians for annual physicals to ensure their bodies are doing as well as possible. In the same way, as an employer, it’s a good idea to find some mental wellness experts to come in and speak to your staff on the importance of mental health. These types of lectures and seminars can help boost your workforce's overall morale and show how invested you are in their holistic well-being.
SMART Goals are essential
When employees are working on different schedules, and in different places, proper planning is essential. Providing your employees with SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) will help produce positive outcomes. SMART goals give your employees guidance and clear expectations of what is being asked of them so they’re more likely to achieve the goal.
While multitasking is something that we all feel we excel at, in actuality it’s something we are not biologically equipped to perform. A LinkedIn article recently delved into the topic, explaining how it’s not possible to thoroughly focus on more than one thing at a time.
Dividing our attention among various tasks means we are only giving a small percentage of our time, attention, and focus to that task. In contrast, each task deserves our full attention to produce the best results. Creating realistic and achievable goals for your staff helps them focus and gives them the opportunity to succeed.
As we move forward, post-pandemic, finding the right balance of working styles will be top-of-mind. What works for one company may not be best for another. Developing a workspace that delivers the goals for the company while keeping employees happy and motivated will be a bit of a balancing act, but, when you have the right plans, staff, and office setup, it’s certainly within reach.
Hiscox is always here to help protect all that you’ve built; get covered today and keep your business safe.