How can your organisation adapt to the changing concept of work?
Defining the future of work and wellbeing
In this post-COVID world, a JLL survey of corporate real estate professionals reveals that 66% of HR leaders find it difficult to manage a remote workforce. This uncertain future requires organisations to rethink employees’ needs when they are in and away from the office. Many are refitting the workspaces, introducing work flexibilities to drive improvements on productivity, wellness, and most importantly talent retention and attraction. However, it is no easy task.
The million-dollar question is what exactly do employees need to maintain performance and job satisfaction? Most firms are still coming to terms with what that means and the solutions to fix this evolving issue. The answers will differ greatly between companies, industries, and regions. In JLL Hong Kong, we treat employees with morning and afternoon refreshments, we open taps for happy hour once a week and encourage social peer events. These are small ways in which to create the right socialisation that is based on employees’ feedback. The main objective is to create an environment where colleagues can interact, bump into each or just meet socially to create these connections – these are the perks that employees miss when working outside of the office.
How to get to the core of the problem?
There is no single solution. We are human beings and we all thrive differently. Our needs in the workplace are varied and diverse. Research, feedback and people priorities help inform the office strategies. Two elements though remain critical – listening to the employees and confident leadership to steer the solution. Above all else, the business performance and staff morale remain the priority – decisions surrounding work hours and location of work must revolve around business continuity and employee connectivity.
To simply put it, “where we work” is not the problem. We need to address “How do we take the concept of flexibility or control and apply that in a fair and consistent manner?” So that the employees are empowered to leverage flexibility for greater productivity and enjoy a more rewarding work experience.
The office remains a vital part of most companies’ identity, brand, and window to the outside world. Whatever its status and while staff need it for collaboration, learning and socialisation, there is no universal solution, or single “right” thing to do to achieve a business’s desired outcomes. Crucially, our philosophies must be to listen to employees, demonstrate confidence in “our” decisions but be prepared to make changes as need be. By all of us being more accountable, responsible, and transparent, the whole workforce will and can strive for better outcomes under the “new” concept of what work is.