Paula Brockwell, Lead Psychologist at The Employee Experience Project, shares her thoughts with us on how workplaces can prepare employees returning to work post-lockdown.
In a matter of months, the implications of COVID-19 have completely transformed our working environments and routines. Office workers have quickly adapted to working from home, embracing all the pros and cons that come with it.
Avoiding that dreaded commute, spending more time with family, or having less distractions to allow for more productive ‘quiet working’ are just some of the noticeable benefits to working from home for many. However, some have struggled to balance work and childcare, or make the distinction between work and ‘down time’; some simply miss the sense of community and social aspects within an office.
The reality is that social distancing measures will be essential for the foreseeable future and projections suggest they will be required in some form until November. It’s one thing to adapt to these measures for a few months, but the prospect of doing so in the long-term, as we return to our offices, is a very different challenge. It has the potential to completely transform office culture, bringing a huge emotional toll for us to navigate.
These uncertain times pose two big questions about the future of workplaces. How can we ensure people are in the right place psychologically to cope with this new working environment and has the purpose of the office changed as we enter the ‘new normal’?