Returning to Work – What is the difference going to be?

By Bob Morrell on May 20, 2021

In our podcast, Bob and Jeremy’s Conflab, one of our episodes deals with the subject of ‘staying at home – or heading back in?’  We consider the fact that the lockdowns have changed forever, the way many of us work, learn, interact and socialise. We also predict the decline of the City, certainly a City of Business, because who needs to commute if the work can be done elsewhere?

I believe the real difference will be about how our brains deal with the change. For many of us, twelve months enforced working from home will have knocked our confidence. We may not realise it, but to suddenly get back on a train or bus, to walk into an office, and interact as we did before, will take some adjustment. Imagine a meeting with people in a room, together, where you talk, present, interact, but not via a camera? Will you be as good as you were a year ago? Out of practice?

Are you fully clear on how your people, and you, will be able to re-connect and be as productive from the office as they were before – or is that dynamic, that creativity, that buzz, going to take some re-creation?

We also did a podcast on unfair biases. Some people are brilliant on Zoom aren’t they? But for some, it’s a real nightmare, still, after all this time. For them, the anonymity of work is the thing they like about it, and to constantly see themselves on a screen is not their preferred method.

Will we favour great Zoom performers or supportive remote workers over more modest people who simply got on with their jobs in these unusual circumstances? Here are 3 key policies to implement.

  1. Mental Health – don’t assume that the resumption of normal life is easy – it won’t be. Have some understanding and support in place.
  2. Judge your employees by the true value they deliver, not on their talents of working from a home office.
  3. Practice – before you start a chain of meetings, really think about the dynamics, the structure and the purpose, and give people time to prepare in advance with a strong agenda.

Lastly, it takes time to go back to something when we have all changed a bit. None of us are the same as we were, so your workplace needs to get used to the new you.

Here’s a link to our podcasts if you want more information: