Home working, virtual teams, and leadership in a changed world
Debbie Hance, Consultant
The working landscape has changed
It seems that no matter how much media you consume (or avoid?) you can’t miss the fact that the world of work has changed. The phrases ‘The Great Resignation’ and ‘The Great Re-Evaluation’ appear in every stream, scattered through business articles, and there’s no denying that things look very different today than they did pre-pandemic.
As a Business Psychologist in the Learning and Development industry with over 25 years of experience in helping people to achieve their professional ambitions, I’ve seen the corporate world adapt, change, and evolve – but never before on a scale like the impact of the pandemic on corporate life.
The ‘work life balance’ we all strive for and the ‘way things are done’ which shaped so many professional environments have been changed by events in the past two years, on a massive scale. People have more demands, higher expectations, and more ambition. Simultaneously, they are less willing to compromise – ethically, financially or in what they will accept from an employer. This shift in power has brought a new dynamic that we are all unsure how to navigate.
The pandemic saw millions of office-based teams make the switch to home working, overnight in most cases, as lockdowns were announced. Office buildings closed down to protect public health, with organisations making enormous investments into the technology, software, and digital support systems, which enabled us to carry out our work from home offices.
Office working vs Flexible working
When businesses insist that remote working is no longer an option, and that their teams all return to life in the office, people realise how much of their time – their life – is spent commuting, in meetings, in stagnation, and how much freedom they had when remote working. If their work can be done just as well – if not better – remotely, why spend the time and money travelling into an office full of distractions? link
If an employer refuses to continue supporting flexibility we are seeing their employees, after two years of freedom in their role, looking for that option elsewhere. The Great Re-evaluation means that those employees are assessing what they actually want from their role, what they are willing to give of themselves and their time, and are seeing what a powerful position they are in to negotiate.
For those not getting what they ask from their employees we see ‘The Great Resignation’; people are moving on to find a new role that meets their demands.
This the biggest shift in how we live and work since the industrial revolution, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
Download the full article to read the positives and negatives of returning to offices – exploring the psychology of how people are making their decisions, the long term impact of the pandemic on corporate Britain, and how ASK can help your organisation to navigate these challenges to support your employees.