How is the post-pandemic workforce changing the way we work?
Have your employees fully returned to the office? Are some of them asking to keep some flexibility in their schedule? Even though Covid-19 is not totally behind us, we are now trying to live our lives normally again. However, what is the ‘new normal’ for workplaces? The crisis has definitely left an impact on our vision of our professional lives and how we work. Some trends have been accelerated, like the hybrid work model or the rise of automation for example. A business that is willing to change and adapt to these new ways of working is proof of employee centricity and innovation, the perfect combo to trigger success! So what is the post-pandemic workforce looking for? How can HR strategies help to meet their needs? deskbird’s editorial team has dug into this important topic to support you in embracing the new trends for the future of work.
What is the post-pandemic workforce expecting for their professional life?
Working from home has definitely shown a lot of advantages, including having more free time for our private life and activities. For example, the absence of commuting helps parents balance their parenting duties and their jobs. The home office plays a huge part in creating a better work-life balance. Employees got the chance to experience this for several months and, obviously, don’t want to give it up. On top of that, while work-life balance is improving the well-being of your team, it also has an impact on your workforce performance and employee retention.
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Repetitive lockdowns forced many people to put their lives in perspective and rethink what truly matters to them. This led to many career shifts. It is also one of the reasons for the talent attraction and staff retention issues that companies are currently facing. Employees want to have a positive impact on people and on the planet. Therefore, they are not only looking for a company that shares the same values and goals, but also for a purpose in their job, which they will do anything to find. This includes quitting a comfortable position if it doesn’t offer an opportunity to help with ESG issues. Remote work has also opened new opportunities for the post-pandemic workforce, like being able to work from anywhere. Consequently, finding a purpose-driven company becomes easier as now options are international.
The Covid-19 crisis has required a lot of effort from employees to adapt to new working models and get the work done in an unprecedented situation. Some people unfortunately did not get the appreciation they deserved. Crisis or not, the lack of recognition in a company automatically creates a feeling of frustration among the workforce. However, this is now even more perceptible. People are tired of working without having any reward or gratitude from their manager or company. For the post-pandemic workforce, this is a key aspect they are now taking into consideration.
Micromanagement and lack of trust from leaders are also heavily impacting how employees feel at the company. While managing a hybrid team often requires some training, it is very important to not constantly be on their backs. Today’s workers, especially Millenials and Generation Z, express the need to have a trust-based relationship with their superiors. How can employees perform efficiently if they continuously feel that their skills are doubted and every one of their actions is double-checked? Don’t forget that failing is the best way to learn and grow. Moreover, trusting your team members is also giving them the opportunity to innovate and succeed.
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Which HR strategies are put in place to respond to those new changes?
To meet the post-pandemic workforce’s needs, data plays a big role in HR strategies. It mainly helps determine what the ‘new normal’ habits of their employees are and what they expect from the workplace. Do they wish to go back to the office or prefer to maintain a schedule mainly based on the home office model? When coming on-site, do they favour single desks or collaborative workspaces? What are their needs in terms of digital communication? Data collection is a very important tool for HR to analyse and understand how the post-pandemic workforce works best.
Automation and AI
Automation and AI help employees and HR teams focus on tasks that are higher value and more people-centred. It represents a key solution for time optimisation and therefore increases productivity. The use of digital tools and hybrid office technology is going to rise in the upcoming years in every department. For instance, technologies such as desk booking software or virtual communication tools are going to become the norm for many companies.
Also, as we mentioned, workers are looking for a purpose in their job. Workplace technology enhances prioritisation and optimisation. Consequently, it supports employees to use their skills on purpose-driven tasks instead of wasting time on meaningless missions.
Hybrid Work Schedule
Flexibility in the workplace is here to stay, starting with the use of a hybrid work schedule. For companies willing to retain their workforce and attract new talent, focusing on a hybrid model is a must. This concept offers a perfect mix between the benefits of working from home and the need to go to the office. It also gives HR departments an easy solution to support employees in reaching a better work-life balance which is one of the most important requests of the post-pandemic workforce.
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When talking about flexibility, we don’t only mean being able to work from anywhere, but also at any time. Flexitime, so-called ‘flex time’, is a great way to be more employee-oriented, increase engagement, improve work-life balance, as well as reduce turnover and absenteeism. Allowing your employees to manage their work hours doesn’t mean they work less. It’s simply giving them the chance to work better according to their energy cycles and daily life needs. Some people are then working in the mornings only and others are operating in the afternoons. Some may even be working the same amount of time but over 3 days only!
We are now at the end of this article and you probably realise that the common denominator of these changes is their emphasis on people. One key strategy for HR is focusing more on employee centricity. The pandemic has not only made organisations recognise the worth of their workforce, but it has also stressed the influence happy employees can have on a company’s success. This is a new era where the impact of workers on the success of the organisation is real. Consequently, giving them the chance to grow and truly add value to their work is essential. For this, creating a positive corporate culture and focusing on employee experience and well-being are fundamental.
In conclusion, the post-pandemic workforce is pushing companies to adopt a more human approach. Of course, this includes more recognition and trust from managers but also greater attention to the personal needs of each team member in order to achieve a better work-life balance. Therefore, companies with a people-first culture perfectly represent how the future of work is going to be. Consequently, HR strategies are focusing on employee well-being and experience. For that, workplace technology is used as a key support tool. Last but not least, offering purpose-driven jobs is one of the top goals of workplaces post-Covid-19. So are you ready to evolve with the post-pandemic trends in the workplace? Is hybrid work part of your plan to answer the needs of your employees? Discover the deskbird app and how a desk reservation software can truly improve their work life.