Many financial services employees have been working from home for months since the pandemic disrupted normal operations across the industry. Conversations are now starting about what a return to the workplace might look like. The truth is nobody knows what a return will look like and there's a growing recognition that normal ways of working will need to be revisited.
Most workforce processes and policies were developed for work that is done in a physical office setting. Now that this may no longer be the norm, executives are finding it necessary to redefine the ways that work gets done.
It’s important to start by defining what work means. When people work, they do one or more of what we call the 6 Cs: They Create work products, they Collaborate, they Communicate; they deliver or receive Coaching; they Commit to actions; and they build Community in their team, department and company. To succeed, these concepts will need to be adapted to a post-COVID-19 workplace.
This isn’t just a matter of publishing a new policy handbook; it’s a cultural shift. To succeed, define the business outcomes you hope to achieve, develop a roadmap outlining routes to get there and then test your approach with pilot programs in two or three departments.
Flexible work-from-home models are likely here to stay, and they’ll be bringing significant changes to how we do things. Plan for the work environment you want, or your teams could settle into improvised behaviors that create confusion, reduce productivity and frustrate employees.