Change in any business is never easy and that’s why transformation is approached with smart thinking and strategic planning.
Any big change will have a fundamental impact on organizational culture, structure, practices, customer experiences and more. And this is likely why many businesses leaders tread with caution, sticking with accepted and traditional ways of working.
Yet this year, the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the status quo, with millions of employees worldwide suddenly forced to work from home. All established business practices were overruled by government guidance: working from home policies; demands that employees be present in the office; set hours of the day that everyone had to work.
This sudden change has also become a lasting one and there are new habits forming that will be hard to break. If the adoption of remote working on a massive scale has demonstrated how employees can work with the same (if not greater) productivity, while achieving a work-life balance, why go back to a physical workplace?
Business leaders today have the opportunity to embark on a new journey. One where they learn from the experiences of 2020 to move forward to a new business world of hybrid working – a blend of working from home and from the workplace, situationally. So how do companies adapt?
Businesses had to act — and fast. Almost overnight, the challenge was to ensure business continuity and enable the shift to work-from-home for every employee in whatever way possible to mitigate the impact.
Many businesses had to pivot their operations significantly, yet the change impacted us all.
At Poly we’ve championed flexible working for many years, with a focus on outcome-based working not the hours or location where people work (I have been mainly working remotely since I started at Poly). Naturally, we’re also armed with the best solutions to make sure we can work collaboratively and productively from any location.
Yet despite already embracing hybrid working, we soon realized the importance of our 75 internal culture champions in rallying a collaborative state of mind and making our employees’ work lives manageable, engaging and rewarding.
It became clear, very quickly, that COVID-19 wasn’t going away any time soon. This prolonged experience into a new way of working has brought about a big question for every business: is there a reason to go back to the way things where, just because “that’s the way we have always done it?”
Following an initial “survival” response, businesses are now being challenged to completely rethink working practices and policies and create the most productive work environments possible for employees.
With the entire workforce continuing to be dispersed, with home working continuing for many and others returning to the office as lockdowns relax, instilling a people-first culture should also be a priority.
This is the opportunity to challenge convention, think creatively and innovate, and bring your teams with you on this critical part of the journey, so they can help to shape the organization that they want to be part of.
Businesses are already moving toward the “next normal” and its hybrid working, where digital transformation is a state of mind.
By creating new working practices, workspaces and company cultures, employees will be empowered with flexibility and choice, and businesses can thrive through motivated, collaborative and productive teams.
Hybrid working means increased flexibility across multiple locations and an emphasis on outcome-based working, where people are connected through seamless workflows and easy to use, but enterprise-grade technology.
Our workspaces will change, as we establish smaller company footprints over more dispersed locations, with co-working spaces, satellite offices and home working becoming prominent.
Central offices will remain, but be optimized for ideation and collaboration, while we’ll see a rise in enterprise set-ups for the home, upgrading our workspaces through home offices, backyard shed or similar, to ensure we can work effectively and psychologically distance ourselves from home life.
Critically, culture will be integrated directly into a business’s digital operation. Businesses thrive off human-first connections and in the “next normal” making the culture something your people see and experience on a daily basis, wherever they work, will be key.
Find out how Poly technology can help you on your journey here.