The global pandemic has taught us many lessons about the world in which we live. One of these lessons is that life can be completely unpredictable. While we could never have imagined our world being turned upside down beginning in early 2020, we learned the importance of being flexible and adaptable.
Not only did the pandemic alter our personal lives, it also drastically changed our professional lives—and it continues to do so, even as we approach the end of 2021.
Over the past year and a half, the pandemic created profound changes to the way we interact and work. From this, several work trends have emerged. These trends will impact our new business culture and how we all work in the future:
The Blending of Our Worlds
Prior to the pandemic, our professional and personal identities were not connected. However, after months of Zoom calls from our home offices, with spouses, children, and pets making numerous appearances, our professional and personal identities have become one. And this most likely will not change as we move into a post-pandemic normal.
Simply put, business leaders must understand that the clear division between work and home life is no longer real. Our professional and personal identities have become intertwined, and leaders must grasp this new reality. One lesson from the pandemic is that work and life can no longer be treated as two separate concepts.
In fact, according to Gartner’s 2020 Reimagine HR Employee Survey, when employers develop deeper relationships with their employees, there is a 23 percent increase in the number of employees reporting better mental health and a 17 percent increase in the number of employees reporting better physical health. And employers who holistically support their employees achieve a 21 percent increase in high performers.
“When organizations take a more holistic viewpoint of their employees and try to support them personally, as well as professionally, employees report that their employer has a positive impact on multiple aspects of their lives,” explains Brian Kropp, Chief of Research in Gartner’s HR Practice.
Today’s business leaders are realizing the need to develop deeper connections with employees via mental health, emotional, and financial support. As such, they are not only choosing to provide professional counseling services to support mental health, but also offering free access to learning and development resources to families who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Showing Support for Today’s Societal and Political Issues
Today’s employees want to work for organizations where the organization’s cultural values align with their own. In fact, in 2020, Gartner research found that 74 percent of employees expect their employer to become more actively involved in the cultural debates of the day. In addition, a Gartner survey found that the number of employees considered to be highly engaged increased from 40 percent to 60 percent when their organization took a stance on today’s important social issues.
In addition, a large number of millennials are only interested in working for organizations committed to social responsibility. A recent study found that more than 80 percent of millennials expect the companies they work for to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship. This includes focusing on the causes that millennials find meaningful, such as the environment, civil rights, healthcare, and education.
The bottom line is that in order to retain and attract the best talent, organizations must take societal and political issues into consideration.
Hybrid is the Future of Work
This year, some organizations began moving from a remote work model to a hybrid virtual model that combines some time in the office with remote work. And other organizations are planning to make this move in 2022. The hybrid model introduces greater flexibility where employees can work from home, the corporate office, or some other location, such as a coffee shop or co-working space.
While the last year of remote work clearly proved successful for many roles, it was also problematic for others. For example, sales development representatives and newly graduated recruits required more direct in-person management supervision, in addition to the fellowship and collaboration fostered from being around colleagues and teams. On the other hand, roles in engineering, communications, and product development proved successful in a remote working model. In fact, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that more than 20 percent of the global workforce could work the majority of its time away from the traditional office—and be just as effective.
Consequently, finding the right balance of working models is critical. And this balance will look different at each organization. It is up to management to decide what works best for their organizations—whether that arrangement includes a fully remote working model, a hybrid model, or returning back to the office on a full-time basis.
One important thing to keep in mind is communication. Numerous studies report that many employees are feeling anxious and burned out. One main source of anxiety is quite clear: employees do not feel their employers are sharing enough about their plans for post-pandemic working arrangements. While some organizations have announced plans to embrace hybrid virtual work going forward, few of them have shared detailed guidelines, policies, and expectations. And this lack of specifics has left their employees feeling nervous and anxious.
There is no question that the pandemic turned the traditional “five days in the office” working model upside down. The sudden shift to remote work caused a huge change in how organizations work and interact. As our country begins to reopen and develop a new post-pandemic normal, it is vital for business owners and leaders to understand and embrace these changes. Leaders must develop new policies that ensure flexibility, compassion, balance, and productivity. Companies that do so will thrive and build a successful workplace for the future.
This coming new year, navigating your first business through the evolving work culture can feel extremely overwhelming for new business owners – implementing safety protocols, setting up your new hires remotely, ensuring your business is compliant with state laws and the list goes on. Our company, Nevada Corporate Headquarters, is here to help you with the legal documents you need for your new business. And it all starts with a Nevada LLC. Get started today and we’ll set you up in no time!
Read morehere about “Managing Work-Related Stress in the Business World.”