Businesses have had lots of practice at unfamiliar working practices that were lockdown-enforced in March 2020.
But, as they’re starting to see work patterns normalising, in the vast majority of cases into a hybrid model of some sort, they’re seeing ongoing productivity challenges with these working patterns.
Staff working from home are impacted by the endless distractions of home and are missing out on the in-person coaching and development they used to get in the office. But businesses mandating a return to the office are seeing higher rates of attrition as staff seek flexibility elsewhere.
“It’s down to how a business is run,” believes Claire Tucker, Co-Founder and Owner at HomeWork Workspace. “Good leadership influences people’s willingness to contribute. Goodwill can be lost in a company, even when staff are going on-site five days a week, if they don’t feel motivated, rewarded and inspired by management.”
Strong leadership involves finding solutions to issues. It includes identifying when the environment of employees might be impacting their performance. And finding solutions to get the balance right.
Productivity Isn’t a Given in Any Scenario
The maintenance of company culture can be difficult with a hybrid working model.
It’s tough for even the most dedicated of staff to motivate themselves from home every day.
It’s tougher still for employees who are sitting on a makeshift desk by their bed, with flickering Wifi and poor natural daylight.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the productivity of team members working in the office can also be affected. They’re constantly pulled away from their work by conversations, meetings and other distractions.
That’s where flexible workspaces come in to their own, providing the best of both worlds and simultaneously removing the worst.
The Place Inspires the People
With attractive contemporary flexible workplaces in London’s Putney and Southfields (and more locations opening soon!), Claire is well-placed to see first hand how employee productivity is turbo charged by the right working environment.
“As soon as customers come through our doors, they’re always intrigued to know more about the workspace. After all, people don’t expect to walk in to a speciality coffee shop on their local high street and see an open plan office with lots of people sitting at desks working”, she explains. “They have the functionality of what’s great about working in the office, plus the flexibility of working from home. The not-so-great elements of both are removed.
“They regularly tell us that the first day they work at HomeWork is the most productive day they’ve had in ages.
“If there was ever a case that flexible working boosts productivity, we hear it straight from the horses’ mouths day in and day out.
“Take the 20-something who’s really lost out by not being in the office – no Friday drinks, no coaching and development and a poor home working environment.
“At the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s the Manager/Director who likes working from home because of the flexibility with the kids and they most likely have a nice home office. They aren’t necessarily interested in the Friday drinks. But they do miss the opportunity to coach and develop and hence get the most out of their team, (plus they’d also quite like a change of scenery).
“The young team member might come in to HomeWork five days a week and thrives on the community (and the post-work beers). The more senior person might come in once or twice a week for pre-arranged team meetings in our meeting rooms and make the most of the opportunity for coaching and development. “We’ve got both options covered because of the flexibility we offer.”