Will we be returning to the office after fully embracing remote working? Covid-19 has proven to be a catalyst for an increase in flexible working. We are evolving towards a truly hybrid work organisation. “Take full advantage of the power of technology as a driving force for a better workplace,” recommends Dirk Paelink, CEO of Workero. “And take into account underlying mechanisms like productivity, focus and connection” is the smart advice of Kathleen Vangronsvelt from the Antwerp Management School.
She formulated a number of tips and insights in a webinar on ‘retaining talent in a hybrid workplace’:
Dirk Paelink advises HR to embrace this new evolution. After all, the most important reason that organisations continue to build offices is because an office helps make work meaningful. Changing employee behaviour has proven to be the greatest disruptor for real estate.
Technology (‘PropTech’) is an innovative ally of HR. This includes such things as smart systems that streamline the movements of employees and visitors in the office and custom software that promotes and supports a healthy, safe and collaborative work environment on the individual employee level.
Kathleen Vangronsvelt cautions against the ‘return shock’ that is sure to take place after the pandemic: “We’ve changed as human beings, but have work methods changed along with us?” People have missed the office: they want to feel connected again, make unexpected discoveries and expand their network. This is how an organisation reaffirms its DNA.
She argues in favour of dialogue between managers and employees: what are the mutual expectations? Place-independent working has dozens of advantages, but also obstacles. We’ve been in survival mode these past few months and the time has now come to learn and transform.