With the world of work forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are having to adjust to new ways of doing things
The new hybrid, or blended, working revolution is more than just simply telling staff they can work remotely. Hybrid transformation requires a series of changes to equip a business to operate efficiently while meeting the expectations of its people and clients.
Recently, PwC in the West & Wales held a hybrid transformation virtual roundtable, and invited businesses of all shapes and sizes to come together to share what they’ve learnt over the past 18 months, as well as their future plans. Following the event they interviewed selected businesses to capture their thoughts, including AMPLYFI’s Chief People Officer Rony Seamons. You can read the full article from PwC here.
What have your staff told you about how they want to work after the pandemic is over?
We have run a number of surveys over the last 14 months. In the first survey, we found that many of the team had adjusted very well to working remotely but this sentiment has certainly begun to change. Team members are now really missing that in-person interaction, and that can be for work purposes or simply to meet up with co-workers for coffee or lunch. Our teams are looking for more flexibility in our working practices, whereby they can choose where best to work from depending on the type of activity they’re engaging in. Of course with a globally dispersed team this still poses challenges, and so we’ll need to ensure we’ve invested in the right infrastructure to enable home, office and remote work to all mesh neatly together.
What changes have you made and will you need to make to meet the requirements of hybrid working?
As guidelines relating to Covid are changing each month, we’ve decided not to rush into making any wholesale changes to our policies just yet. We’ve afforded ourselves until the end of the year to figure out what hybrid working means for AMPLYFI, and test a few assumptions which have arisen over the last 14 months. We’ve given the team full control over where they work, either from home or the office or a combination of the two. We’re now seeing more team members coming back to the office.
In many ways the pandemic has been a big leveler in terms of communication to a dispersed team, so in order to maintain that equality of inclusion we’ve taken a remote-first principle to whole team communications. Finally, we’ve taken the wellbeing of our team very seriously throughout the pandemic, and tried to pay particular attention to people’s physical and mental health. We’ve used organisations like Calm to offer help and advice, and have engaged in things like a virtual distance challenge whereby any team member across the group can contribute by engaging in some physical activity – we’re halfway across the Atlantic right now!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about ways of working since the first lockdown came into effect?
One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned has been to understand how quickly people and teams can adapt. The speed with which the team has completely transformed our operating model, maintained their focus and simply adapted how they work has been inspirational. Adaptability is a term often bandied about, but perhaps it’s never been more relevant than today. It’s been interesting to see some of the activities we’ve historically carried out in person now take place exclusively online, and with equal or at times improved outcomes. The pandemic has challenged us to completely review how and why we do things within the business, and look for ever more optimal ways of working. And by optimal, we mean taking into consideration wellbeing, culture and of course the business objectives.