The Covid-19 pandemic forced us to change our working habits, forcing us to learn how to use new technological tools to communicate while locked in our houses. Now, after several months, work habits have completely changed, with some people who are happy with the new rhythms of working remotely and are anxious to get back to the office, and some others who are looking forward to returning at their desk.
To understand this situation starting from numbers and figures, Accenture Research fielded a survey during March 2021 to more than 9 thousand global workers across the world and different industries, including the insurance sector. The analysis was aimed at trying to understand what work will look like in the future, and determining what resources were necessary and which work environment could work better to unleash a person’s potential, enabling to be both healthy and productive. The research points out that most people (83%) want a hybrid model, where they sometimes work remotely and sometimes go onsite, with 85% of people who feel they can be productive everywhere that say that they plan to stay with their company for a long time.
In this complex work environment, leaders are called to identify and re-think work policies, in order to strengthen worker-employer relationships and help the employees manage a potential anxiety about the returning back to the offices.
An interesting article titled Help Your Employees Who Are Anxious About Returning to the Office by Amy Gallo on the Harvard Business Review identifies some useful suggestions for top managers and HR managers in order to always improve the working model they put in place, combining the need to get back to the desk with and the advantages of being productive anywhere:
• Ask (anonymously, if necessary) how people are feeling about returning to the office and do not assume people are going to tell you directly that they’re feeling anxious.
• Allow people to experiment with different ways of working so that the shift to in-person or hybrid work does not feel sudden.
• Be compassionate both to your team members and to yourself.
• Do not make promises you can’t keep, such as assuring people their careers won’t be impacted by working from home or that they can do so indefinitely.
At RGI, we have been working completely remotely from March 2020 until now and according on the pandemic/vaccine situation and therefore the safety of our RGI People, we will begin a step-by-step return in the office with the goal to move towards a hybrid working model, which integrates both office and home working.
This model will be designed following the results of an internal survey carried out with the participation of RGI People across the different sites of the Group, which revealed that most of our People appreciated their at-home time and they want to keep working there.
Also, they stated that certain activities such as networking and decision-making meetings are more efficient in an office setting, while the daily operativity is carried out at best in a quiet and personal space such as their own houses
Proposing a new hybrid model will impact not only the company, as we need to rely on new technological and collaboration tools which we activated to enable the smart working mode, as well as redesign our locations to fit with our changed needs, but also all employees’ personal lives.
For us it is important to shape it putting at the center both productivity and people’s needs. Therefore, a hybrid way of working will allow us to get the best of both worlds – we will be able to keep all the forms of communication and technological tools we were forced to use during the lockdowns, which sometimes make the work faster and allow a more flexible schedule, while also adding the offline relationships.