Katie Newton, of headline sponsor Westray Recruitment Group, explores how people & culture will be more important than ever after the current crisis.
Following the major changes to our lives in recent months, it’s becoming clear that there will be longer terms impacts on workplaces. This will require businesses to be adaptable and flexible as they attempt to plan for the future whilst continuing to navigate through uncertain times.
At first, the transition to working from home for many of us seemed like a novelty. Then realities started to creep in, with some having to balance this with looking after their children, some struggling with the increased use of technology and some simply trying to resist the urge to reach for the biscuit ten every ten minutes! However, as this has become more of a normality, it’s been interesting to hear many of our clients talk about seeing increased productivity whilst many employees have actually developed stronger working relationships cemented on trust.
Prior to the crisis we find ourselves in, there was increased pressure for organisations to consider remote and flexible working policies. In fact, many had already implemented measures that work successfully. However, as many companies have been forced into this position, how might this impact their future stance on remote and flexible working? Might we see a larger shift to this, particularly when social distancing is likely to remain in place for some time?
Having had in-depth conversations with clients across the North East, the most common view seems to be that there will be some shift to increased home working.
What we must not lose sight of, however, is the importance of communication, connection and culture. We are (many of us) social beings, whereby that social interaction in the workplace is critical, so a potential move to one or two days a week working at home could be the ideal balance for some businesses. This would almost be a chance to retain the social aspects of office working whilst providing time to work without distractions and to cater to a more flexible generation.
Something I have personally focused on over the last few months is the well-being of our internal staff here at Westray Recruitment Group. Let’s not forget that working from home is not so simple for everyone, whether that be down to distractions, a lack of self-motivation or even loneliness. It is now more important than ever that we maintain connections and retain trust, and that we try to make transitions back into the workplace, whenever that may be, as smooth as possible.
Having studied the potential longer term impacts here at Westray Recruitment Group, we have looked to respond by thinking about what our clients might want done differently moving forward. When the time is right, we will be launching our new online recruitment platform, Westray Connect. This is an investment we have made as the nature of recruitment looks set to change and will give our clients and candidates 24-7 access to live recruitment campaigns with the added accompaniments of remote video interviewing and psychometric assessments.