Employers optimistic about future of agile working

Leading employers came together recently to talk about how they have adapted to the coronavirus pandemic, how they have foregrounded employee well being and how they are optimistic about the future of agile working.

Working

 

The lockdown experience shows agile working works, opening up a greater diversity in talent pools, including older workers, according to a new white paper.

The white paper is based on a roundtable, held on 21st May, which brought together diversity and recruitment experts from nine organisations to discuss the challenges facing employers as they seek to transition back from lockdown. The aim of the roundtable was to explore shared challenges, discuss best practice and look at what works and find ways forward.

In addition to agile working and how it can be used to help people with caring responsibilities and other workers who need greater flexibility, the employers discussed the need to support employees more during the pandemic, to acknowledge that, for several reasons, they may have up and down days, meaning it is important to check in regularly and ask how they are or use regular video calls to make teams feel closer.

Employer said communication was key and people needed opportunities to talk about their worries. Other issues around well being included the use of social media channels, such as a family chat channel, which can help build resilience and the creation of a page with mental health resources so that people can find what they need easily.

The white paper focuses on the role of line managers and recommends that they need training to support home workers. When it comes to furloughed workers, employers said keeping in touch and providing regular updates to furloughed workers is important preparation for the return to work and that people need to know how the workplace is changing and have an opportunity to ask questions.

Other recommendations include:

  • Pulse surveys can provide a window on employees’ worries as they return to work
  • People need different ways to express their concerns. Helplines or places where they can ask anonymous questions can help
  • Training is needed for managers in virtual interviewing and onboarding
  • Guides and videos are a good way of introducing candidates to the workplace culture when they are onboarding remotely
  • Video applications and CVs could be better than the normal way of doing things
  • It is important to think creatively and to be open to new ways of doing things. They may become the new norm.

To read the full white paper, click here.



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