The Genie is out of the Bottle

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Guest writer: Dave Simmons

In the space of less than 3 months the way in which we work has been tipped upside down.

Companies, who for years had resisted the idea of employees working from home, were suddenly forced to embrace the idea and simply make it happen. Surprisingly, business didn’t grind to a halt, the technology worked and employees could be trusted to deliver.

The focus has now turned to what happens now that the world is beginning to creep back to some form of new normal. Many high profile companies have already come out and declared either extended or permanent moves to home working, i.e. Optus, Facebook, Google. In NZ the likes of NBR have made the decision to make the permanent change to a home working model.

What is intriguing is the number of companies who are still ‘considering’ if they will allow home working moving forward. Surely there is no going back to a rigid 9 - 5, 5 days a week. Failure to change will simply lead to increased staff turnover as employees  seek opportunities with those companies who have embraced the learnings gained from the experience of the lockdown and have transitioned to a more human centred work design.

Companies must take the opportunity to embrace the learning's that have come out of the lock down and not simply revert to old ways. 

Organisations have a golden opportunity to become more human centred by taking the time to listen to employees and design flexible work models that enable greater efficiency, engagement and productivity. Employees are now expecting this from their employers. Companies can no longer hide behind tenuous excuses telling employees that “working from home doesn’t work for our company” - the challenges of the lock downs we have all experienced have busted these myths.

There is no putting the genie back in the bottle.



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