Right now, I am obsessed with connectivity.
Being struck (for the second time I might add!!!) with the dreaded Covid and spending 10 days at home got me thinking………I missed my routine, the journey to work, daily trip to Dandy, lunchtime boxing, temporary workers ‘popping in’, sharing stories with my colleagues, my desk, coffee meetings etc., etc. I felt disconnected. Out of sorts. And I found myself increasingly distracted (isn’t life so noisy?! I will talk more on that next time) so it got me thinking about connectivity. The depth of connections and the impact that has on my life.
I am loving Steven Bartletts Diary of a CEO podcast (check them out if you have not tuned in before) and one of the discussions was on the importance of connectivity which reinforced where I was.
This connectivity in relation to work is massive, after all we are at work a large majority of our time. I am totally for flexible, hybrid ‘whatever you want to do’ working but it is the CHOICE I am for, and that I feel is what is key; tailoring to suit you. Just turns out what suits me is not working at home.
Looking at friends and family that are exclusively at home I see reoccurring negatives, a drop in confidence, increased feelings of isolation and in some less motivation. After all we are meant to be social animals - even Aristotle was telling us that!
Flexibility has always been a key factor in job searches, I have spent years disappointing job seekers on the lack of opportunities open to considering both flexible hours and working arrangements and change had to come. There are certain clients that have been able to secure notable talent because they have offered flexibility or had strong retention due to that fact, as most of the market moves forward those that don’t consider it are now being left behind.
But with increased home working comes the connectivity challenge. studies have shown that 44% of workers have reported feeling less connected to co-workers since the start of the pandemic. And the percentages grow with women and younger people. A Forbes article reports that according to a May 2021 survey by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) working from home, while it kept us safe from COVID-19 and brought some benefits, also meant many Americans felt lonely and isolated,”. We are all seeing this.
We saw an increase in market movement as the restrictions eased last year – those forced back to the office got in touch – the feedback was about the choice being taken away, it worked in lock down so if it improves life for me as the employee why not let it continue?
I think the investment in techniques to ensure connectivity is developed and maintained with the remote working options will be a big challenge of 2022. Those employers who get it right will retain and attract and in the current highly competitive market this could have a massive impact. Watch this space.