SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES TO DEVELOP A CULTURE OF INCLUSION AS THEY TRANSITION TO HYBRID WORKING
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we view work, modern offices as well as ourselves as a workforce. It has demonstrated the need to reimagine flexible work, beyond the dichotomy of office work and remote work.
Hybrid working is an arrangement where in-person work and remote work co-exist, and workers use at-work spaces and at-home spaces for work as needed. While initially used as a necessary response to the pandemic, it is now clear that workers and employers are increasingly keen to explore new ways of working. For workers, it allows them flexibility with time and location, with opportunities for enhanced work-life balance. For organisations, it enables them to minimise overheads associated with running office spaces. This has propelled organisations across sectors to explore a transformation in work culture.
Small businesses, third sector and public sector organisations have been as impacted by these changing trends in work as large businesses. The workforce has developed anxieties around perceptions around performance and productivity measures which could impact role progressions and reviews. They are also dealing with the burnout that is caused by the additional demands placed on them during the pandemic, exacerbated by the lack of adequate supports in place in a hybrid world of work. Team building and social connectedness have suffered as employees tend to become isolated and work asynchronously.
Although these impacts have been felt across the employment sector, small businesses and frontline organisations may not necessarily possess the resources and capital to systemically transition their work culture to fit the changing trends. This resource aims to support small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) and the voluntary/third sector to prepare for, be responsive to, and navigate the uncertainty and change that comes with transitioning to a hybrid model of work.