As lockdowns become the new normal, ‘shelter in place’ and 'stay at home' orders are rolled out and extended across the globe, the way we work has shifted and transformed abruptly too.
Of course, the biggest and most painful question that COVID-19 has brought to the fore for the majority of business has been: How to navigate the cash flow constrain with limited or no revenue streams? As painful as this question is, it forces other issues to follow, and in the answers, we may find a new way of operating and more agile work models.
This new work-from-home arrangement has stripped back organizational structures to their fundamentals. Here are some of the questions we need to consider:
- Which roles are adding value to the business? Work from home has cast a light on how inessential some roles are to the company. When everyone is in the office, it’s easy to slip under the radar. Now, however, it’s obvious when team members don’t have enough to do. How do we address this issue sensitively but sensibly to achieve the best possible outcome?
- Is this process needed at all? Similarly, some processes cannot be done from home. Yet there has been no negative impact from the absence of executing them. This provides an opportunity to question again, streamline, and simplify. We need to ask ourselves: Why are we doing this? Is it adding to our customers?
- Do we need an office for everyone? Companies are now noting that some roles are more efficient working from home. After the lockdown, some of these roles may continue to work from home. Working-from-home arrangements for some roles will enable organizations to leverage the increase in productivity and help them reduce infrastructure costs.
- Why does this role need to be “full-time”? Furthermore, do some of these roles require to be full-time employees? Can some of these roles become gig?
- Does our pay structure make business sense? Finally, organizations are also re-looking at their compensation and remuneration strategies and models. There is a need to evaluate the business impact and contribution of every role; there is also an appreciation that some functions may not need a 5-working-day arrangement. All these considerations will, of course, impact the way organizations look at pay.
Our role as business and talent leaders is to anticipate these questions and take them head-on. A sustainable answer will balance business impact and workforce enablement to navigate these challenges.
Please add on your own "painful" questions we should find answers to. Bring them on!