The future of work and related employee expectations continue to be a hot topic post-pandemic. Business leaders and corporate Canada have varying perspectives on the effects of remote work, a four-day work week and the importance of time spent in the office from both productivity and organizational culture perspectives.
I believe the same approach and way of working will not necessarily work for employees at all levels of the organization, and here’s why.
In most cases, an experienced employee with tenure is competent and confident in knowing how to perform their role with excellence and, most often, has the skills required to perform their duties autonomously. This may not be the case for inexperienced employees new to their role and the workforce because achieving mastery requires a high level of training, feedback and mentorship. While I do believe in the flexibility and increased productivity that remote working can provide, I do think it’s vital to ensure there is always a level of in-person training and mentorship to ensure all new hires are set up for success.
The growing popularity of microwork – employees having several jobs – makes it essential to assess the needs of each hire and, most importantly, the roles you need microworkers to fill within your organization. If an employee has other pursuits, whether they are an artist or a yoga teacher, you must thoroughly determine exactly how much time is required for them to perform their role with you and the hybrid office model that makes the most sense based on their role and experience level.
While many top financial institutions pushed for a three-day return to the office and are now encouraging a five-day in-office workweek, I don’t think this is a progressive solution. Instead, assessing the organization’s exact needs and creating a customized model to fit each key player’s circumstances is essential to having them stay healthy, motivated and engaged.
Employees at all levels of an organization must feel valued and heard. Still, the work environment and flexibility you offer must be tightly tailored to the nature and needs of your business and customers while taking into account the unique skills and preferences of everyone on the team.