Last week we looked at a plethora of new roles across the occupier and consultancy market for workplace strategy and change roles. It seems as though businesses have accepted that there is no going back to pre-COVID-19 ways of working, and that the change is here to stay. Employees have proved to even the weariest or most draconian of businesses that working from home can be just as efficient.
However, the job isn’t finished. While workplaces began to adapt in 2020, the journey has continued into 2021. Workplaces are still changing!
The Leesman report for the biggest ever home-working survey clearly shows that there are still things to be learnt, as there is no one size fits all method. Employers still need to understand what they can do to ensure their employees are engaged, energized and productive - be it working from home, or the office. Changing and updating tool provision and technology to best support their employees is essential.
Which businesses AREN’T changing the way they work?
Businesses that expect to simply revert back to the old way of working when this pandemic is (finally!) a thing of the past are likely to encounter resistance from employees who have enjoyed working away from the office. This resistance can easily manifest itself and will result in losing staff to employers who have embraced remote working and offer it as a standard to all employees.
As a business looking to hire, what can you really offer your employees to give them the flexibility that they need to be most productive? NOW is the time to act by engaging with workplace change and strategy professionals to engineer a future workplace experience for your post-pandemic office strategy. It is also a great time to tap into new types of positions within your company… there have been a few tasty new job titles out there, including “Head of Remote”.
Where does technology come into workplace change?
Prior to March 2020 there was the ongoing debate around video conferencing technology, and its capabilities. However, when Teams and Zoom literally becoming an overnight “go to” for anyone that had a computer, it proved that the technology is there, and that it will improve still. The question now is where can employers invest more into workplace technology for better connectivity.
Workplace technology that had been the focus for years, such as motion detectors, electric whiteboards, and clean air filtration, quickly became basically redundant in empty offices. The focus now is technology to support remote working for employees – it is time to reinvest.
Why are candidates rejecting your offers?
All the above leads to some actions points to consider – especially if candidates are rejecting offers of employment. Here is a handy checklist to ensure it doesn’t happen to your business:
- Put yourself in the candidates shoes, imagine you are looking into a business that has an “urgent hire” role. 5 weeks and 6 interviews down the line and the business still hasn’t made a decision – the candidate will probably get bored after a couple of weeks. According to research by the UK HR Directors Association, it takes on average 27.5 working days from role to hire! If you need the candidate to meet multiple people, then try and combine the meetings and set specific expectations from the start. The worst thing is chucking in extra stages because of your own uncertainty or the need to satisfy the whim of multiple stakeholders internally.
- Feedback. If you don’t feel the person is right, then simply be honest. The impact to your brand will be a lot worse if not!
Now more than ever, candidates are motivated by opportunity over money. Whilst money is important, we have many examples of candidates actually taking pay cuts to get into roles that offer opportunity. From an employer’s perspective, is there a shining example of career progression within your team for your prospective new hires to speak with?
- How genuinely flexible is the role? Do you immediately trust new hires to work remotely?
- It can be worthwhile to look at other businesses who are hiring the people you want, and learn from them. Some of the more flexible policies that they offer, such as unlimited annual leave, or paid personal development time/courses, will certainly make their proposition more appealing to the external market. Don’t just rely on your name or position in the market.