With companies making significant efforts to get back to normal after they’ve dealt with the impact of COVID-19, the next step for them is to set up a plan for their employees to return to the office. But as experts say and companies confirm, this return will be a gradual one, as the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic is still unpredictable. The main focus now for both landlords and their corporate clients is to ensure a safe working environment by implementing measures and clear protocols for how everything in the office operates while managing health and safety risks for employees. BR sat down with landlords and companies and found out how they were preparing for their employees’ return to the office.
By Anda Sebesi
A new way of thinking
Florin Godean, Cluster Manager at Adecco Romania and Hungary, says that rethinking the dynamics of human capital investment has never been more relevant.
“2020 started with a disruptive pandemic, forcing countries into deep lockdowns amid efforts to save lives and prevent healthcare systems from collapsing. There are already indicators – at least in the short term – of an economic downturn and a rise in unemployment. However, we are still only learning about how deeply the pandemic will affect daily life. It’s a good time to look at empowering the workforce. It’s the right moment to rethink investments in workforce from the point of view of environment flexibility, work contracts, and lifelong learning programmes,” Godean says.
Interested in more HR talks? #TheFutureOfWork will once again shine bright this fall at Working Romania – Autumn Edition. Stay tuned for more info!
A recent report published by Adecco Group, shows that we turn the conversation to investing in re-skilling with a call for an increase in flexibility, with a focus on ‘flexicurity’. This means improving flexibility with improved social security. In order for flexicurity to really work, it needs to happen in the context of a larger reshaping of existing social security and other systems.
Work from home: a double-edged sword
Asked whether work from home had the potential of becoming the main form of work in the future for companies, Godean of recruiting company Adecco warns: “To put it simply: no, I don’t think so. Not the main form of work at least. I think companies had an epiphany during these three months about what functions can be managed from home. Keeping in mind that costs can be saved with this solution, companies will certainly keep remote those activities that proved productive while people were working from home. As for the extent to which this will happen, it will differ from one industry to another. It’s hard to imagine healthcare, retail, heavy industry or agriculture workers doing their job remotely,” he says.
Keeping in mind that Twitter recently announced that all its staff would work from home forever, Godean says that Twitter, along with many other digital & IT giants (even local companies), already had the infrastructure in place to tackle such scenarios. Working remotely was included in the benefits package at such companies. Nowadays, depending on the pandemic’s development, companies must adapt accordingly and working from home will be a necessity.
“Given the fact that companies that were 100 percent office-based switched to fully remote work in a matter of days proves that both employees and employers are ready to adopt it on a larger scale,” he says.