There’s one downside to the end of lockdown restrictions
Depending on where you are in the world, the gradual ending of lockdown restrictions are hopefully starting to signal a very welcome return to some kind of normal. Possibilities of travel are opening up, people are getting vaccinated, the sun is shining, and the pubs are open at last!
However, all these very welcome shifts are being accompanied in some cases by a move which others are finding less welcome. There are a number of organisations/managers/workplaces who are breathing a sigh of relief that they can now call everybody back to the office.
And perhaps you’re one of those people exhaling in gratitude, having had a horrendous experience of working from home during lockdown, and you cannot wait to get back to the commute and the cubicle and everything that signifies… Then truly I am happy for you, because all I want is for people to have the choice they have been so long denied.
But my inbox suggests that there are a large number of people who are dreading this announcement, or awaiting with some trepidation for an update on the structure their organisation will be proposing once travel and commuting restrictions are fully relaxed. In most cases the lack of certainty is one of the most frustrating factors, because how can anybody plan and arrange their life and intentions when there is so little information and knowledge available?
Sadly this has been one of the hardest things about whole health crisis, for everybody from individuals through to government committees. The lack of known-knowns and the ability to make concrete plans about anything is a continual source of stress, and I’m certain this has heightened the general sense of background anxiety and unease that everybody has been living with for so long.
Lots of workplaces are using the word hybrid, but there is little genuine consistency about what is meant by this.
It means their thinking has at least got as far as acknowledging that they cannot bring everybody back to work in the same way as before – that their space in the office will not safely accommodate people at hygienic distances, and that it’s not appropriate to ask people to travel in rush-hour public transport like they did before.
However within the word “hybrid” there lurks a vast spectrum of difference in terms of when where and how people work, from the famous General Motors work anywhere strategy of enabling complete freedom and flexibility, through to very rigid plans permitting people to work from home for a fixed number of days or hours per week, and requiring their presence in the office at other times. It’s very confusing so far. As always, the devil is in the detail.
And not that surprising that a great many people are considering their options, including the possibility of a new job altogether. Recent research by Enghouse which looked at the customer service sector suggested that up to 90% of the workforce is actively considering changing jobs – and a lot of these are people who got a good taste of working from home during lockdown, and now want to retain that flexibility going forward.
And who can blame them?
Anybody who managed to make working from home work during the pandemic lockdowns has proved beyond doubt that they can do it, that they can make it work with their lifestyle, and that they can find benefits within it even under the most unusual and difficult circumstances. Small wonder that so many are considering the benefits that retaining that flexibility could bring to their lives, when it was coupled with the freedom and choice that a return to unlocked life will bring with it
The idea of a 90% turnover in any business or department is frankly terrifying, and I’m sure many HR managers have no idea what is about to hit them. Of course that doesn’t mean 90% of people will definitely leave their jobs, but it does mean a lot of people are demotivated and unhappy and looking around, considering their options, and trying to make vital, life-altering decisions just as they emerge from this deeply unsettling time.
Luckily, there are lots of employers who have taken a different approach, and embrace the value that remote and flexible workers can bring to their organisation. Places who recognise how much was achieved over the pandemic period, by people who are grateful and loyal to have work, and who deserve the trust that they built to be respected and carried forward into the future, whatever the future looks like. And others who operated a remote-ready or remote-first approach for many years before 2020.
Many of those organisations are also hiring, and because they are hiring for remote roles, they don’t even have to be located in the same city or country as their future employees.
Finding, applying for, being selected for, and onboarding into these new roles, will bring new challenges. It will require you to highlight different professional attributes and acquired experience, than you may typically be used to. But to help you, we have compiled a training course dedicated specifically to enabling this:
It’s short and actionable, covering the journey from scoping out remote roles in the first place through to successfully negotiating terms and conditions following the recruitment process, and it is designed to be accessible to knowledge workers in any industry or location.
You can work through the whole thing within a couple of hours, and refer back to it at every stage of your journey, as it includes a printed workbook to help you prepare for online job interview questions. At Healthy Happy Homeworking we believe that you should have the choice of working wherever you want, and that working from home can be a long-term happy and successful part of your life.
It also includes a FREE copy of “Out Of The Office: Making The Transition To Working From Home“, the first book in the Healthy Happy Homeworking series, to inspire you on your journey.
Successfully Securing Your Remote Job will give you that extra leverage and advantage when you apply for your next – or perhaps your first – employed home-based position.
So, here’s to a bright future!