As we all start to adjust to this new existence, with schools, offices, shops and restaurants closed and worldwide lockdowns in full force, our ability to do our jobs and run our businesses from home has come into sharp focus for many of us.
Where once, flexible working was considered a luxury, it is now an essential part of keeping businesses afloat as entire workforces across the world self-isolate.
Working from home at this time is a privilege, but it is also something that can be incredibly difficult to navigate. As the Covid-19 pandemic hit harder and the words ‘stay at home’ began to ring in our ears, it immediately put businesses with remote working policies in place, and those without, in stark contrast with each other. Suddenly, it was abundantly clear which organisations simply didn’t bother to build resilience within their teams, to provide the necessary resources to allow their people to work flexibly and create a sense of trust between employer and employee. It’s all too obvious, as I sit at my dining room table, that our attitudes to remote working are fundamentally outdated.
In every other job I’ve held, BB (Before Barney), there has always been some level of suspicion when it comes to working from home. From passive aggressive texts to check if I’m ‘having a productive day’ to constant emails and phone calls detailing the day’s schedule, not a single second left unaccounted for, I’ve come to associate a feeling of guilt and unease with working remotely that is still with me even now.
Since joining the TIS family, however, I feel supported whether I am in the office or not. There is a trust that exists between me and my colleagues because ultimately, we are all working towards a collective goal – we’re all just doing our best in an extremely unsettling time for our industry, for us as a company and for our clients. Now more than ever, we need to look after each other and trust that everyone is doing their bit.
I strongly believe that employers must do the work to build flexibility, trust and resilience beyond this enforced lockdown. This is a new era – a chance to rejuvenate our working patterns and create happier, more productive, better-equipped workforces. Let’s make a positive change.