Will Marketers Return to Offices in 2021? What Companies Need to Know
While talking about 2020, what do you think are the major changes one has faced?
Some of my friends have lost their jobs.
Some gained weight and a belly like a panda (I’m the panda here).
Most of the companies became digital.
Some executed their long-due start-up ideas.
But what most of us have experienced is work from home.
Work from home has turned our lifestyle upside down.
While some of us love every bit of working from home and not missing going to the office every day and having a routine at all, some are not okay with this privilege of working remotely.
They prefer going to the office and work in an environment and have a routine.
I was the same in the initial stage of 2020 lockdown, as I used to nap a lot whenever I could, this made me lazy and less productive.
But once I figured it all out and got my focus back, I prefer working from home. For me, it is a privilege when your working hours and workspace is flexible. Now I am more than productive.
What happens when things will get back to normal?
Are we ready for it?
Are we ready to go to the office every day?
Or are the entrepreneurs ready to listen to their employee’s preferences?
I have gone through many surveys and most of the people are considering making work from home a permanent thing, while others are eagerly waiting for their offices to open.
Not only the employees have adopted this working remotely culture, but the entrepreneurs also have made a lot of changes in the office management style.
From cutting down to the office spaces and making ‘zoom’ their new conference hall, entrepreneurs have done all the possible things to make working remotely or work from home a success for everybody.
A good leader not only provided the necessary means to their employees to make their work from home easy but also tried to keep the team together and involved as they were used to be before the lockdown happened.
But as we are in 2021, and many of us have started stepping out, but are we ready to go to the office?
I think entrepreneurs should host a survey and must ask their employees what they want.
Many of the employees who are parents, single parents, have medical conditions, etc, have seriously settled down with the work from home culture.
I was a writer, I enjoy and prefer working remotely.
Going back to the same routine we did have in 2019 can be very challenging. We already faced so much struggle in the initial stage of the lockdown in settling down for the new routine of work from home.
And these challenges are not only for the employees but also for the entrepreneurs and the head of the departments as well.
Here are the things the entrepreneurs can do when they decide to open office spaces for their employees:
· Hold a survey. Ask your employees about their preferences. Where and how they want to work and where do they seek their comfort.
· Consider making a hybrid workplace. As I told you before, people have different opinions about the choices on working from home. Some want to continue working like this only and some want to go back to how it used to be before the lockdown. As a leader, one must listen to the choices and preferences of their employees and take action while keeping in mind their comfort.
· Don’t tie your employees with rules. Rules are supposed to be made to maintain discipline and not to tie and suffocate your team with them. Give them space where they can do what they want while keeping in mind the culture of your office and not rules.
· Ask for feedback. Make it a culture at your workplace for asking for feedback from your team weekly. About the changes they want in the office, how can they perform better, etc. And then take action.
· Invest in hybrid workplace equipment. If you are considering giving your team to pick their comfort to work in, then you need to start investing in the equipment. When some of your guys decide to work remotely, you can cut down your office space and invest that amount in the equipment that can make their work from home better in productivity, easily communicable, and measurable.
· Allow flexibility. Allow your team the flexibility of working hours and work meetings. Make it normal to give your team a flexible schedule. Not just in the schedule but also in working remotely or from the office. In my previous office, we used to have one work from home day. But here I am talking about letting your team pick up the days when and where they want to work.
· Give your team the freedom to have the perks of working remotely. Many small start-ups have shut down their offices completely and are working remotely. They now host their conferences and meetings either on a zoom call or at a coffee house. Freedom can make your team productive or lazy. Now it’s up to you how you would handle your team and the situations with them.
· Go for a co-working space. Co-working spaces are not only budget-friendly but also very convenient. Renting a whole new office after cutting down space from the previous one, can still cost you a lot. With a few numbers of team members who want to work in the office space, you can pick a co-working space accordingly.
Conclusion: Opening workplaces can be overwhelming for people. All I am asking you to conduct a survey at your workplace with your team members asking about their choice and views on working remotely.
There are so many of us who are still not very ready to step out of our homes and now are comfortable with our new working routines. While others are waiting for things to get back to normal like they were before the lockdown. And there are a few of them who don’t have a choice of working remotely, either they don’t have that space or the environment.
We are individuals, and we all have different preferences. As an entrepreneur and a leader, it is your duty and call to make what is in the benefit for you and your team members.
Providing your team members, a comfort for picking their working zone won’t take away the office culture but instead, they can perform better and enthusiastically.
Pick a platform that can make your communications and meetings faster and hassle-free.
There are so many platforms other than the zoom calls.
My personal favorite is the ‘marketplace’, where I can share and communicate my plans and strategies with my team members.
Not just the platforms to communicate, but also to track and measure the work is done at the end of the day.
People perform better when they know their work has been tracked down.
Making the comfort of your team members a priority is not a bad thing to consider.
Just be open and prepared for all the possibilities and challenges.