2021 presents us with a clean slate that is more welcomed than ever before. Lessons learned from the challenging year of 2020 highlight attitudes that employers can leave behind to stop limiting productivity, efficiency, or overall employee happiness.
Here are three attitudes that aren't serving your business well and ways to adjust them to embrace a better 2021.
Employees won't be productive outside the office.
One of the biggest obstacles of 2021 was the adjustment to remote work. As COVID-19 spread around the globe and forced us into lockdowns, businesses had to transition to working away from the office.
For some, this had never been done before. The initial reaction was a fear that employees would not be as productive at home as they would be under the office's watchful eye. For most businesses, this reaction was proven wrong.
Throughout the times of uncertainty, employees leaned into the opportunity to work from home and enjoyed a more sustained work-life balance. Employers started to put more trust in their employees and, as a result, created more open relationships.
For 2021, consider if a more flexible working arrangement is suitable for your employees. Can working remotely be an ongoing option even after lockdowns end? Can your employees have more authority in where and when they work?
Technology is too expensive to be a priority.
Technology is becoming increasingly important for many industries' operations. From communication to manufacturing to record-keeping and storage, your business likely depends on technology every day.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught us that remote access to these technologies or systems is critical for business continuity. For some businesses, taking their technology to the cloud seems like a costly exercise, but the cost of not moving could be even greater.
Some employers also found new technologies to work more efficiently during the pandemic, like utilising more video calls or collaboration tools. Implementing new technology into the way they worked meant that even with the challenges of working remotely, work could be more efficient.
For 2021, consider whether your business has technology that is easily accessible for your employees if they have to work remotely. Do you have tools in place that make collaboration easy? Although technology is an investment, is it worth the cost?
A flexible workforce wouldn't work for my business.
The way we work and hire has shifted in recent years. A thriving gig economy and contingent workforce have become a popular labour source for businesses, which proved valuable during the global pandemic.
COVID-19 presented prominent workforce capacity challenges. Some companies had to make layoffs to save costs. Others had to cope with employees unable to return to work because of health risks or reasons.
A flexible staffing strategy could be the key to helping your business fill immediate skills shortages without the costs of permanent employment. Tapping into the gig economy to find the required talent quickly can help companies who have been negatively financially impacted by the pandemic.
For 2021, consider if your business is still missing talent in a vital area. Instead of taking on the cost of a full-time employee, could a contingent workforce help fill the gap?
As we head back to the office, let’s reflect on old employer attitudes. Can we leave some behind in 2020 and make adjustments to embrace a more productive, happy workforce in 2021?