• February 8, 2022
  • palsolutions
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Change Back? Change Again?

About two over years ago, we entered into change – because COVID19 pandemic disrupted what we were doing.

I had the opportunity to help clients “move into” (change) new SOPs and Communications for Working From Home (WFH), Work In Field (WIF) for essential services. Some businesses shifted to WFH almost exclusively, while some moved to a hybrid model.

Now with the COVID19 pandemic lifting, we need to transition back to pre-COVID19 work scenario – Work From Office (WFO) correct?

It is not so easy!

There has been so much resistance and pushback from working professionals, office workers everywhere – debating why they should transition back to the office. They reasoned that they have managed your job and “work well” from home – why do I need to move back to the office now?

They forgot that is how they signed up for their job/work to work from office in the first place.

Another reason is that companies failed to communicate why they are moving to WIF and that this is a temporary scenario for work efficiency.

In working with a number of clients through the COVID19 pandemic, and in talking to people in the workplace, and analyzing a number of research papers, there has been a major shift (change) in terms of daily routine and work habits in working from home.

In most working environments, especially urban working situations, there is a long commute to the office or workplace. This is between 1 – 2 hours one-way for many working people in Asia. If you cut this daily commute both ways, you basically save an average of 2 – 4 hours a day for the average Asian worker. So instead of waking up at 6.00 am or 6.30 am in order to get to the office to start work at 8.30 am or 9.00 am, you gain this morning commute time. You can now wake up at 7.30 am or 8.30 am depending on how long you need to get ready from bed to your work desk at home. This works the same for the evening, cutting evening commute time. The average person gained 2.5 – 4.5 hours personal time a day. The fact that you do not need to wake up early for the early commute, many ended up doing more sleep, doing more at home, more time with family, more social media, more Netflix (just look at the share price during COVID19), etc., etc. – again another gain of personal time, and space.

Having gotten used to these “extra personal time and space”, and “new work-life balance”, obviously this is going to be painful and uncomfortable to give it all up now.

I am not saying that companies just move back to “pre-COVID19” scenario. There needs to be a clear communication of transition timeline, giving team members time to adjust back to working in the office (change back, change again).

Communication and team engagement are key for successful back to pre-COVID19 workdays, and work from office.

Change is never easy.

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