You’ve heard how we should not return to what has been and embrace the new normal.
But what does the new normal look like?
Here are three perks the office of the future will offer:
Remote working options - Even back in 2018 businesses were prompted to provide remote working options (https://www.forbes.com/sites/louisefron/2018/10/14/three-future-workplace-realities-you-must-be-prepared-for/). The beauty of work/life integration has really been put to the test, thanks to COVID-19, and many are now huge fans. Employees are not going to give that up without a fight. The reality is that most jobs require some face-to-face time, but can still offer perks such as providing a few days per month or quarter to work remotely.
More flex-time - Regardless of whether you’re able to provide remote working options, flexibility in work hours will be a must. This applies to two different facets:
There is a flexibility to start and stop times, within guidelines. For example, if your customer service hours start at 8:00 am, team members are welcome to clock in at any point between 7:30 and 8:00 am, which then gives them the option to leave by 4:30 pm (as long as customer service hours are over or covered by that point).
The need to clock in for hourly employees is still an imperative, but it is becoming less of an indicator of productivity. Rather than watching the clock only, leaders should set up responsibility check-in points that happen on a regular basis to inform success in specific areas. Then the clock won’t be the dominating force in perceived contribution and value.
Home tools and resources - With remote work now a definite option for many, organizations need to identify how they will ensure their employees have the necessary tools required for successful home work. This doesn’t necessarily need to cost money, such as providing recommendations on an ergonomic home office set up (boxes and books work wonders when trying to get heights just right). This can also include providing some tools from the office budget, maybe including a check out system of office laptops or tablets that have the necessary firewall protections and software. Of course, this option is dependent on the organization, and must be included in any discussion about the future of employees and the office.
So, how does your office measure up?