One of the biggest challenges facing employers in 2021 is how to get your teams working in collaboration again after the isolation of working from home.
Covid-19 has forced employers to adapt due to the need to socially distance resulting in many employees working from home. The extensive use of video conferencing and cloud technology enabled most work to be performed remotely, but what about the downside of working from home.
We have been challenged to think about the future of work and specifically:
- How teams will start working in collaboration again, and
- How will flexible work arrangements evolve to allow this.
Some employers even questioned whether they needed their existing workspaces and we have seen some downsizing and reconfiguration to take advantage of property cost reductions but as we emerge from the harsh lockdown, employers are now considering how to hold on to the benefits obtained prior to the pandemic.
Organisations reshaped into leaner, more autonomous groups with new names such tribe, neighbourhood and community to indicate the importance of socialisation and created workspaces with room to gather, move and importantly share ideas on whiteboards.
Processes also changed to incorporate more collaborative work methods which have proved to drive innovation, productivity and employee engagement. Systems such as Design Thinking and Agile Methodology were implemented initially in areas where software development was the primary deliverable, but more recently these structures and processes have been employed across entire businesses. ANZ bank is one such organisation adopting these structures and processes across their entire business.
With entire businesses restructured in these leaner, social groups that focus on customer outcomes and use a range of processes that rely on face-to-face collaboration the big challenge is how do we manage this in a world of uncertainty due to Covid-19 restrictions and will our tribes be able to just pick up the social connection needed to collaborate effectively?
- How do we manage face-to-face with social distancing and mask requirements?
- How do we ensure that our tribes can comfortably collaborate face-to-face?
Many researchers and companies we have spoken to believe that bringing employees back to the office to connect and allow them to start working in collaboration again will be essential with hybrid workplace models. This article in Harvard Business Review is a great short read on when you need face-to-face interactions.
Our range of designer mobile whiteboards offer employers the opportunity to create flexible partitioned space and allow employees to connect and collaborate around important issues, challenges and ideas.
The high-quality surfaces are easily cleaned, partition space and stack and store efficiently enabling workplaces to manage social distance, employee safety and support the need for working in collaboration.