In these unprecedented times, wouldn't it be great if some good came out of the situation companies find themselves in?
With millions of people being forced to work from home, this is the perfect opportunity for organisations to embrace the change and see how they could function long term with more of their workforce working remotely.
Many employers have shied away from letting staff work from home with employees feeling there's a lack of trust or inflexibility when it comes to allowing them to work remotely.
Although the situation we find ourselves in is unplanned, it will be a great learning curve and if done well, should drive staff engagement and a stronger culture where people feel more valued and supported.
The current focus is on keeping staff engaged and supported remotely - especially important when people are facing uncertain times. As an organisation, we're using video conferencing as much as we can, minimising email and having lots of calls to discuss activity and also have some fun and socialise together virtually. There'll be Friday drinks and the odd game of bingo throw in too for good measure!
With the wealth of IT systems out there to enable remote working, there's no excuses not to embrace the change and make sure staff still feel part of the team and supported wherever they're working. You never know, they might just get used to it....
Covid-19 could cause permanent shift towards home working Covid-19 could permanently shift working patterns as companies forced to embrace remote working by the pandemic find that their employees do not want to return to the office. Working from home is presenting problems as well as opportunities: startups such as Slack and Zoom and giants including Google and Microsoft are offering usage for free, in the hope that people will carry on once normality returns. However, some systems are creaking at the edges such as corporate networks, unused to the volume of connections coming in over virtual private networks (VPNs). It looks increasingly as if the situation will not ever go back to how it was: many employees are already starting to question why they had to go in to the office in the first place.