2020 will go down in history as the year that disrupted the world. Our daily routines, lifestyles, and perspectives have all changed. Not many of us could have envisioned wearing face masks at our desks or working from home for most of the year, all because an invisible virus could be lurking in the air around us.
Consequently, the trajectory of 2020 has created enormous uncertainty regarding the culture within the workforce and what the physical office will look like in the years to come.
Within this changing environment, we must do what humans do best. Adapt. There will be a wave of new guidelines and lessons to be learned as the new year and decade unfolds, with the only option to conform to the reality of our’ new normal’.
Within companies, management teams are learning how to keep their teams engaged, productive, and healthy remotely, ensuring job satisfaction stays high, and positivity is dispersed through this new virtual work culture.
We have a few hunches on the expected workplace changes we may see in 2021. We’re sharing our predictions so you can plan, continue to support your teams, and grow your businesses despite the change in climate as we move into this new era of the workplace.
1) Flexible Schedules
Employers will need to relinquish the traditional 9-5 ‘productivity’ mentality and, instead, provide flexible working schedules and track employee performance through KPI’s, results, objectives, and projects.
The majority of office workers are currently working from home. For those without home offices or a designated workspace, it may be challenging to stick to a consistent schedule, particularly when to switch on and off, as they would at the office. The solution requires flexible work from home policies to cultivate team motivation and support productivity levels.
Social distancing in the office has become customary behavior for those still required to be in the physical workplace. Therefore, flexibility applies not only to the anatomy of work culture but also the physical systems needed to be put in place for the health and safety of employees. It may mean offices require a rotating roster to ensure fewer people are in the workplace at one time.
2) Maintain a workplace culture away from the workplace
With teams scattered through the suburbs and isolated to their homes, the lack of human interaction and communication may have a negative impact on workplace culture. For many, the only socialisation occurring within teams is phone calls and virtual meetings that are mainly work-related.
Counteract this by ensuring you create an environment where teams can catch up socially. This may be through a virtual lunch, Friday drinks, or a morning yoga class that allows employees to connect outside of work purposes, and helps to maintain those meaningful social connections.
Keeping the mood light-hearted is an essential consideration for employees’ mental and physical well-being during these tough times.
Continuing to foster workplace culture will maintain healthy relationships, increase job satisfaction, unite the team, and create a supportive community. Your team is the backbone of your business, and ensuring they have the tools and support they need to perform at their best will assist in hitting your company goals and growth targets despite the fragile climate.
3) Virtual Meetings
Although an ease in restrictions is forecasted for 2021, virtual meetings will still play a large part in what is the new meeting culture to avoid social distancing complications and save time getting to and from the meetings.
The shift to new technology is inevitable, so all generations will need to adjust to digitization in the workplace, knowing that the ability to connect anytime and anywhere significantly expands the business’s scope, presence, and communication.
Understanding your team’s needs and preparing for the future is crucial both on a professional and personal level. Finding that balance of employee support and your business goals will ultimately determine the success for 2021 and beyond.