CEO Memo: Making the post-pandemic working world the best it can be

Many parts of the world are thankfully opening back up for business following the COVID-19 shutdown.

We at Governance Institute are joining this push, starting to again deliver some of our short courses in a face-to-face format, as well as online. It’s an exciting step after these last few months and symbolic of the fact that we, like so many organisations, are slowly but surely on the path out of the pandemic.

The pandemic served to speed up a flexible work transition that had been slowly inching along for several years.

But in the general excitement and rush to bring back some normality to our business lives, it is imperative that we don’t unwind everything, including the massive gains that have been made in terms of workplace flexibility. 

The pandemic served to speed up a flexible work transition that had been slowly inching along for several years. And now that we have demonstrated that we can get our jobs done — while perhaps also throwing on a load of washing or picking the kids up from school — let’s not lose that silver lining from the pandemic.

When Australia went into lockdown in March, we immediately moved the entire Governance Institute to work from home, and we will continue to work this way until at least mid-July. When we do return to the office, the emphasis will be on flexibility. We have asked our staff what will suit them best in terms of returning to the office.

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Every organisation will have their own return to work plans, but as we move forward let’s hope presenteeism in some organisations will become a thing of the past and productivity will be measured in terms of outcomes, not simply the hours that someone sits at their desk in the CBD.

There are certainly positive signs that this flexible work mindset will continue in some form. We recently released the findings of our COVID-19 Member Impact Survey which showed half of respondent’s employers have implemented flexible working conditions to enable people to work from home if they wish to continue doing so and a further 36 per cent are considering or working on implementing this.

Other key return to work findings from the survey of 265 governance and risk management professionals include:

  • 47 per cent of respondents indicated their employer has reorganised the office layout to meet social distancing requirements and a further 37 per cent are considering or working on implementing this
  • 41 per cent have implemented a staggered return to the office and a further 52 per cent are considering or working on implementing this
  • 43 per cent have conducted a staff survey to understand employee preferences about working arrangements; and
  • 26 per cent will work in teams with only one team in the office at a time. A further 36 per cent are either considering or working on implementing this strategy.

Read the full report here.

Best wishes to everyone as they adapt to the ‘new normal’, and let’s hold on tight to all the steps forward in the push to go back.

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