The Covid-19 pandemic has presented critical people issues for organisations to assess and address. Many of us have a newfound appreciation for what it’s like to work from home alongside our families, while trying to remain productive, focused, healthy and engaged. Despite the challenges we face, we are collectively navigating this period of uncertainty and have adopted new working practices, tools and channels to enable our teams while prioritising the safety of our people.
More recently, we have seen the focus move from immediate crisis management and the practicalities of remote working to longer-term strategic planning. Now, as Ireland’s government continues its phased re-opening of the country, key questions for organisations are: how can we safely get our people physically back to the workplace, and what will that workplace look like?
Returning to the workplace is much more than an event; it is a process. While we recognise that all organisations are at different stages of this process and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, there are some common lessons that we can draw from. As a workforce adapting to a global pandemic, we have learned a great deal. We know that remote and flexible work at scale is possible, and we have witnessed the enormous positive impact of strong leadership and effective communication and collaboration on productivity, motivation and wellbeing.
Firms must now consider how they will use the lessons learned to shape the future of their organisation, considering factors such as increased virtual collaboration, less global travel, embedding news ways of working and reviewing their locations strategy.
Our latest guidance, which you can download below, sets out some guiding principles for physically returning to the workplace, discussing the actions that can be taken to protect people and the business as you lead through successive waves of change. It introduces EY’s people and organisational blueprint response to the Covid-19 crisis, which operates in two gears to plan a physical return to work while preparing for what’s beyond.
You can also review our latest insights and thinking to support you in leading through these volatile times; don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a question.