The Future of Workplace Flexibility
How will work-life be re-imagined post COVID-19?
Remote work is radically reshaping how we work and live. As organisations busily plan to welcome employees back to the office post COVID-19, they are fast re-imaging how and what ‘working from the office’ will actually mean in reality.
Workplaces acknowledge we’re still months away from having everyone back behind their desks as they used to be, prompting some employers to drastically rethink how and where their people will work.
In this well-worth-the-time webinar Parents At Work invited a number of experts to explore exactly this – the future of workplace design and flexibility in our organisations.
The panel included:
- Shiona Watson, General Manager, Human Resources at QBE Insurance
- Kristen Miller, Head of Workplace, Westpac Group
- Stephen Barrow-Yu, Executive Director, People and Change, KPMG & Director, Diversity Council of Australia
- Emma Walsh, CEO, Parents At Work
Here are some snapshot points made by the panel experts:
WESTPAC – Kristen Miller, Head of Workplace, Westpac Group
‘In a pre-COVID world up to 5,000 Westpac employees worked from home . . . in COVID times it has been 22,000.’
‘What we predicted would take us five years to do has taken us a number of months. . . . We’re excited to fast track our leadership agenda [on agile, flexible working].’
‘It feels like there is a heightened level of accountability.’ (in reference to EVERYBODY working from home) ‘[Employees] feel much more connected and it seems more seamless for them.’
‘I’m seeing trust go through the roof – that care and connection has evolved.’
QBE – Shiona Watson, General Manager, Human Resources at QBE Insurance
‘Things that started off being challenges turned into opportunities. There has never been a time that we have learnt so much at such a rapid pace… what we have learned in this process is that we want to keep it as part of our DNA.’
‘Open conversations about our wellbeing have never been more at the forefront.’
‘Output has been largely maintained.’
‘People are craving the social connection – 85% of our employees want working-from-home on a long-term basis but they want a balance.’
‘It’s been an equaliser – everyone’s had an equal level of participation.’
‘Leadership as we navigate the next stage . . . the expectation on leadership will be even more significant. . . . The belief systems in many situations have been held over a long-term basis . . . how do help leaders engage in a more two-way communication?’
KPMG – Stephen Barrow-Yu, Executive Director, People and Change, KPMG & Director, Diversity Council of Australia
‘If you think about the immediate reaction … the conversation is moving on now and the opportunity this presents is to make some real change.’
‘I don’t think it will ever go back to the way it was.’
‘There’s a whole lot of things we have to listen to for people personally – the opportunity to see it from an employee’s lens.’
‘[We need to question] some of the assumptions about what the workplace is for and how are we using it … if organisations aren’t asking themselves that, I think they’re missing an opportunity.’
‘Presenteeism has got to be gone … it’s always been flawed but now it’s just not there.’
This article content was written and shared by Parents At Work.