The coronavirus has had a profound impact on the way in which we work at JBP: remote working, video conferencing, webinars, flexible hours and our reliance on technology has dramatically changed our working lives, our mindset and our culture.
Yes, it’s been a massive learning curve for us all but I’m massively in awe of our team who have adapted and adopted the technology to allow us to work remotely.
Of course the new norm is not without its challenges as we miss the face to face contact that you get from being in the office: mentoring, supporting one another, the day to day banter and the social interaction. And certainly from a mental health and wellbeing perspective it’s an unhealthier work-life balance, but it has meant that we now value the work of our colleagues differently.
Pre-Covid we would insist that our colleagues get in to the office for 9am. We measured their productivity on attendance and the length of time they sat with their heads down at their desks. We needed to closely manage people, keep an eye on what was happening – or wasn’t- as that was conventional thinking and management.
The pandemic has changed all that. We’ve proven we don’t need to work in the office every day, our colleagues still want to do a good job for our clients, they relish responsibility, readily take ownership, work hard, stay committed and have taken to the new paradigm like ducks take to water.
As an organisation we’ve recognised that we need, subject to the needs of clients and colleagues, to have a more flexible approach to the hours and when people work.
Gone are the prejudices about working from home and as we emerge in to this brave new world I don’t envisage my colleagues working from the office 5 days a week, but rather balancing their time in working remotely to suit the needs of the business and themselves.
I don’t believe that the pandemic marks the ‘death of the office’, clients will still want to have meetings, work colleagues will still want to interact face to face but it won’t be the same and it will be different.
Some may say for the better. Better for individuals and for business.