Telecommuting and remote work is a norm than a perk. While companies are reimagining work, talent acquisition and workforce planning teams have a once-in-a-generation chance to reimagine work. However, not all companies are able to transition smoothly and improve remote training and communication standards.
Workforce planning teams are faced with the challenge of developing strategies for getting work done from each role. Though social distancing is available, employees wish to telecommute. Workforce planning teams must implement the right recruitment strategy and policy, invest in technology, and use a people-centric approach.
The Desire for Remote Work Will Stay
The Global Workplace Analytics survey of more than 3,000 employees indicates an interest in working remotely. Many responders specified thriving in remote work conditions. 3 out of 4 respondents said they would like to continue working remotely.
Despite a breakthrough in the COVID-19 vaccine, people will still be hesitant to share space with others. Remote will become a safety protocol. In this event, workforce planning must explore critical competencies that employees need to make digital collaboration happen, determine employee experience strategies, and evaluate employees.
The shift to remote offers employees the choice of where they want to live, creating new expectations about flexibility and working conditions. As per a 2020 study, office managers expect a 36% increase in work time outside their offices.
Hybrid Workforce Model – The Future of Work
Eventually, employees will go back to the office. But how often?
As per a BBC report, 55% of US employees want a mixture of home and office work, and UK employers expect the proportion of remote workers to double from 18% pre-pandemic to 37% post-pandemic. In India, 74% of office workers want to continue to work remotely.
Since commuters gain an hour on an average every day working from home, post-pandemic, employees will work from home at least one to three days of the week.
How will underprepared employers accommodate onsite and remote workers at the same time?
The answer is near-home offices that employees could use in their apartment complexes, community workspaces, or satellite offices for those who cannot commute long-distance or stay at home.
In such a case, most companies will deploy a combination of onsite and remote workers, changing talent acquisition processes. Workforce planning teams can reassess and define work available onsite and offsite. Nonetheless, offices will be seen as a space to meet, share ideas, draw plans, create product blueprints, tell stories, etc.
When industries move past the orthodox 9-to-6 office-centric work, retaining the best parts of the office culture while freeing themselves from inefficient processes and meetings and unnecessary bureaucracy will be challenging.
Using Workforce Planning to Create a Dynamic Post-COVID Workplace
Creating a dynamic workplace requires a dynamic process. Here’s how strategic workforce planning will make the transition successful.
a) Accommodates a distributed and diverse workforce
Workforce planning teams must help re-acclimate the workers returning to the workplace and ensure they share the same vision. The HR must handle employee concerns during the transition and push the company’s leadership to develop and communicate a vision, essential to thrive in such an environment and compete for available talent.
AI-based workforce planning will determine who will work remotely and onsite for a given role. It will chalk out a model that includes diversity and inclusion and how often workers can commute to the office weekly.
It will also consider the proximity of workers to the office. Should companies hire fresh graduates, or can the role be filled internally with a robust upskilling program? Should they live close to the office, or can they work from any part of the world?
Workforce planning will also consider protocols for collaboration and communication, adhere to the comprehensive policy for a hybrid environment, helping create a high employee experience, changing how companies hire and operate.
b) Listens to employees and smoothens collaboration
Companies must solicit continuous feedback from employees, collect opinions about the changes in workflow and protocols. Additionally, workforce planning must adopt technologies to ‘listen’ to team members to understand their progress and challenges.
This insight can be used to implement processes to improve performance. The trend will accelerate to collect employee health, wellbeing, and safety data to understand employee experience.
A smooth transition will reinforce the already robust talent management strategy where the employees are connected. Leaders trying to get hybrid work right will have no problems navigating through the unknowns and uncertain times.
c) Ensures a smooth collaboration internally and externally
Investing in AI-driven workforce planning ensures proper communication and collaboration, adding to flexibility. Workforce planning teams must figure out a tech stack to empower everyone to do great work, collaborate effectively, access resources, and report progress to supervisors automatically.
Businesses that implement the policy and acquire technology to create a hybrid environment will facilitate work for their onsite and remote employees, achieve organizational agility, drive engagement, maintain alignment, and make teamwork happen across locations and disciplines.
Draup’s talent intelligence platform analyses various skillsets needed for workforce planning. Large corporations have utilized Draup to get location intelligence on their interactive dashboard for key technical roles so they can hire from where talent is available.
Draup’s proprietary Reskilling Navigator will analyze high-demand areas for reskilling, and the Diversity Navigator will balance the diversity & inclusion scenario.