How has remote working impacted communication within your business?
A new survey by the employer’s group IBEC has found that more than 3 quarters of businesses are planning a return to the workplace for employees in the next 3 months if Government guidelines allow. Respondents to this survey have also indicated that a hybrid model of remote and onsite work will be more commonplace once offices reopen. 4 out of 5 companies that responded to this survey have stated that they will adopt this hybrid style of work, with 55% placing a greater focus on employee output rather than presence into the future.
How has the Covid-19 crisis altered the “work” world as we knew it? We can look at the last 18 months almost like a forced social experiment with the widespread adoption of virtual communication as a necessary and safe replacement for physical interaction. Covid-19 has necessitated a re-examination of not just the habits we typically rely on, but how to develop and rebuild new habits so that we can remain dynamic, responsive, and relevant in how we approach our work. It has encouraged us to take a look at how we interact with colleagues in this new way of working. We all develop habits, or routine behaviours, which we repeat regularly over time until they occur automatically. As adults, the repeated use of behaviours and habits form well-worn neural pathways in our brains and this makes changing or adapting ways of thinking, responding, and acting more challenging. However, it is possible to change habits once we identify a need and are willing to use and apply new ways of thinking or behaving repeatedly.
There are 5 key points that we really need to consider and take away from the last 18 months when it comes to communication within the workplace:
1. Prepare properly.
2. Show empathy.
3. Work to ensure a genuine, two-way contract.
4. Encourage and enable a culture of “Psychological Safety”.
5. Structure and embed new approaches to working with others.
Prepare how you want to connect and what you want to achieve with the person you are about to interact with.
Make a real human connection, make the effort to initiate contact in a meaningful and genuine way.
Work to ensure a genuine, two-way contract.
It is not as formal as it sounds, establish a two-way agreement of the way forward and what you both want to achieve. Make sure that you really mean it. To do this you must be clear and authentic, both parties are both genuinely and equally committed to the way forward.
Encourage and enable a culture of “Psychological Safety”.
This is a really key tip to take away. Make it a safe space for everyone to come forward with the suggestions or concerns.
Structure and embed new approaches to working with others.
Make this become a way of engaging within your organisation. Make this a practiced and formal way to make sure that you are giving the time to onboarding, and embedding new employees especially.
To gain a full insight in to each of these be sure to watch our webinar “The Changing Workplace” where you can gain an in-depth understanding and be prepared for the “new normal”.