How Do We Make Good Choices for the Future of Work?
Many organizations are currently in the process of deciding how to proceed with the return to in-person work. Do we stay remote? Bring everyone back in-house? Allow for continued flexibility, and create a hybrid workplace that blends remote and in-person work? If so, how much flexibility do we provide? And how will the Delta variant of COVID impact those decisions as we move forward?
There is a way to answer these questions and to face down uncertainty, even as conditions continue to change. As individuals and leaders, we can be mindful and deliberate in our decision-making process by asking ourselves the following set of questions.
Self-Assessment Questions to Plan for the Return to Work
These questions will help you determine priorities and find the solutions that are right for your organization.
- If your team moved to remote work during the pandemic, what impact did it have on your performance indicators?
- How did your team work together after they made the transition to remote work? Was collaboration easier, harder, or did it change at all?
- Were your employees more or less productive while working remotely?
- If you allow some or all of your employees to stay remote, will you change your processes in any way to accommodate new needs?
- Have you planned out a training solution to ensure the continued success of your teams and fill in any gaps that have emerged?
These questions can serve as the basis of a general needs analysis. Gathering this information will help you make decisions based on solid data and will provide a baseline of measurement if you continue to track the success (or lack of success) of new processes.
If you saw marked organizational performance changes, then the next step would be to determine whether the changes were due to the impact on the market from the COVID pandemic or a change in your internal working conditions, or a mixture of the two factors.
Finally, you must determine how you might update your processes to ensure the success of your teams if they are now working in a hybrid – or blend of remote and in-person – workplace. It would be wise to invest in your Learning and Development professionals to develop solutions to help upskill your employees to fill any gaps in technology skills, leadership skills needed to manage a remote workforce, and to update your content to make certain that both remote and in-person employees have similar access levels and support.
Recently, AllenComm’s CEO Ron Zamir offered more helpful advice on this same topic in response to questions about how to proceed with the return to physical workspaces post-COVID. Please click the link to read his recent article in Forbes.