Strategy & Innovation Director, Marc Hazelden, talks about life post-pandemic and how businesses need to act now.
“I can’t wait to get back to normal”
If I were given a pound every time I heard that statement, I’d be a millionaire. But I get it. The global pandemic has well and truly uprooted our normal and impacted our lives in unthinkable ways. But the truth is, we will never return to the normal that once was. COVID-19 has made a lasting impact on the world and we need to start realising this and adapting to change.
When we start to enter a post-pandemic world it will become glaringly obvious how we have changed, not just as people, but as employees. As a result of the pandemic, we’re much more aware of our lives than we once were and as employees we are behaving and engaging differently. We no longer have to commute to work (saving us time and money!) and often aren’t even working the usual 9-5 as we juggle the balance of work and home-schooling, amongst many other things that life throws at us. This new way of working isn’t just going to just disappear when government restrictions are lowered, and offices start to open again.
Businesses need to prepare themselves for this shift in employee mindset and expect an influx of flexible working requests where employees not just expect but demand a new balance between the office and their homes.
I’m not just talking from a technology perspective (because let’s face it, we’ve already had to master that over the past 12 months) but focusing on how they can communicate and engage with employees in this new hybrid workplace.
A guest speaker at one of our recent virtual events said, “Standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards” and that statement couldn’t be truer in these circumstances. Employees mindsets have evolved and it’s crucial for businesses to evolve with them, because standing still isn’t an option.
Many organisations have found temporary measures for internal communication during the global pandemic, but many of these quick fixes will definitely not stand the test of time. Businesses need to look at more permanent solutions that work across the new hybrid office. It can sound daunting, and unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all solution as every company is different.
We’ve been supporting some great brands on their internal communications strategies over the last 12 months and thinking of new and creative ways of engaging their remote workforce. It doesn’t have to be big gestures that cost the earth, it just needs to be thought about, engaging, and consistent. One thing that hasn’t changed is people’s need for communication and interaction and businesses can’t rely on what was ‘normal’ in the past, we need to move forward and create a new normal.