COVID-19 has massively affected the ways that civil servants have been serving their duties since COVID-19 happened, from a rapid move to working from home to the measures now implemented to allow for a safe return to the office.
With the government recently stating that it wanted 80% of civil servants to be able to attend their usual workplace at least once a week, government bodies are needing to put in place ways to keep workers safe and engaged, such as one-way systems, staggered shift times and limits to the number of people allowed in the office at one time. These changes, however, are symptomatic of a wider, most likely permanent, shift in the culture of work that the pandemic has heralded.
THE CHANGING NATURE OF WORK
The lockdown in the first half of this year served as proof that employees could be just as productive when working from home as they are in the office. Businesses have seen first-hand that remote working is a viable option. Not only are team members more efficient, but business leaders save money on office overheads and in-house technology too.
Of course, some components of the office are difficult to replicate in a digital environment. Face-to-face contact, for instance, is only something that can happen in person. However, some tools can help us to mimic those experiences. Video conferencing means colleagues can stay connected and communicate more efficiently in an environment where in-office interactions may not be possible.
For the public sector, having the right tools in place, like video collaboration, could make remote working a more accessible opportunity. With video, for instance, companies can keep communication and information flowing naturally. Employees get the benefit of a better work-life balance. According to the State of Remote Work survey, remote workers are up to 29% happier in their jobs than those operating on-site.
SWITCHING TO A NEW STYLE OF WORK
Remote workers in the public sector can deliver the same productivity and efficiency as in-office employees. With cloud-based tools, team members can complete tasks easily. Tools like RingCentral gives you the option to set your team members up with business numbers so they can respond to customer queries and service requests from whichever device they’re using.
As the pandemic persists, the public sector organizations that struggle less will likely be the ones that learn how to remain flexible. Offering remote work as an option at least part of the time will save costs for businesses and improve employee work-life balance.
Because remote work is such an attractive benefit, it could pull more talented employees into the candidate pool. This will be crucial as pressure continues to mount and recession starts to bite.
Moving forward, public sector bodies will need to consider how remote and flexible working policies could allow them to accomplish more with their teams. The age of remote work is here, and there’s no turning back.
No doubt, in the public sector, the future of work will likely require a deeper consideration of how remote and in-office environments can merge.