Spring is in the air and today marks the next stage of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. We can now finally indulge in some retail therapy, enjoy food and drinks at a restaurant or pub and socialise with others (albeit outdoors and British weather permitting) and of course, get that much-needed haircut. The road to recovery is in motion.
However, for many businesses a remote workforce is still very much the norm and burnout associated with over a year of working from home has been telling in this 3rd wave and lockdown in the UK.
Back in March Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser made headlines with a ‘Zoom-Free Fridays’ initiative to combat the real zoom fatigue experienced by their employees. Also, a directive to limit calls made outside of what is considered, traditional working hours and finally, she declared an extra holiday on the 28th May a ‘Citi Reset Day’. Fraser also recognised the benefits many employees have experienced and increases in productivity and as part of its road to recovery will be implementing a hybrid or blended remote working model. By contrast, Goldman Sachs also hit the headlines but in this case, it was due to employees ‘begging’ to work 80 hours rather than the normal 100 hours that had been working during the pandemic, citing a deterioration of their mental health and physical health. Goldman Sach’s CEO David Solomon is well-known for his opposition of remote working in more normal times, and in response is enforcing a ’no work on Saturday’ policy!
Most studies however have revealed an uptick in productivity during the pandemic and many CEOs have also addressed the idea of their employees not working too hard, taking regular breaks and looking after their well-being. Work-perks have also changed, from normal times offices with subsidised canteens and gyms or (generalising here), but the ping pong table at many a start-up to work perks for the remote workforce that now include subscriptions to meditation or fitness apps and vouchers for bicycles to name a few. As we know there is no ‘one size fits all’ for any company, and we continue to have discussions with our CEO’s and leadership teams on striking the right balance of a hybrid or blended culture but also on cultivating and driving engagement across workforces as we look ahead to the next junction of our road to recovery.
In our Spring newsletter, our Sonata division dive into ‘The question is no longer why should you have a coach,the question is why don’t you have a coach?’ we also bring the first in a new series of articles on the ROI of Coaching, here we explore ‘The ROI from being able to move from a Sales to Revenue function’. In our ‘Meet the Coach’ feature we introduce you to Sonata coach, Petra Breiner and she shares her top 3 steps for Leaders.