Written by Siena Taylor Mocean is a multi-award winning employee engagement and internal comms agency based in Bristol & London
Have you considered the impact of Covid-19 on your employees health and wellbeing?
How comfortable will they be returning to the office? Have you considered employee engagement when returning to the office following a long period of furlough or working from home? And what will the working environment even look like post-Covid?
These are some of the many questions being debated as we look ahead to a post-Covid era. Inevitably, Covid-19 has massively impacted employee health and wellbeing and not necessary in a good way. Increased isolation and loneliness, less distinction between work and personal life and a lack of human connection are just some of the many side effects.
Whilst part of your workforce may be experiencing burnout, others, who may have been furloughed, will feel underworked. It’s important to bring these two halves back together in the return ‘back to normal’ and we need to ensure this is done in an engaging and healing way. An important factor to consider when bringing a disjointed workforce together is what the future workplace will look like and how it will function. Working environments impact employee health, wellbeing and engagement and the question is, do companies still need to be leasing vast office space lined with hundreds of desks or is there a more beneficial way of working? A trend that is likely to emerge is the increased use of co-working spaces. According to Co-Working resources and Coworker, 5 million people will be working from co-working spaces by 2024, an increase of 158% compared to 2020.
Another suggestion for the future workplace is ‘the 15 minute city’, a concept created by Carlos Moreno that goes against modern urbanism. This is the design or redesign of cities so that within the distance of a 15 minute walk or bike ride people should be able to access work, housing, food, health, education, culture and leisure. This would also help tackle climate change and reduce carbon footprint. According to Moreno, modern cities are currently a “bubble of illusionary acceleration” and aren’t working to our benefit, we need cities to adapt to human needs rather than the other way around and this has become even more apparent during Covid times. If the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that community and locality are very important to human needs and were vital during lockdown. So could this be the solution for a post-Covid recovery?
There’s reason to believe existing offices will be used for hybrid and flexible working. Paul Dunn, Executive Director at CallisonRTKL has gone as far to say “there won’t ever be a generation looking to return to an office 5 days a week 9-5”. According to an article by ‘All work’ explaining workplace trends in 2021, the office will be a place where workers pass through and collaborate with their colleagues rather than sit and work which is likely to result in a stronger and more resilient workplace culture. Companies will need to make office spaces more vibrant and inspiring in order to achieve this collaborative environment.
Co working, 15 minute cities, hybrid and flexible working or a full return to the office. Whatever the future of the workplace might look like it’s clear that times are changing.
The one thing we do know is that the way we communicate with our employee has never been more crucial. Talk to us about how we can craft your internal comms and help make that transition a little smoother.