For the past two years, you haven’t had much of a say in where you and your staff worked. Hopefully, moving forward into 2022, we are going to all have more of a choice as to where our people operate from. But don’t jump into making that choice without first thoughtfully considering your options. Here are three things that you should consider when deciding how to move forward in your workplaces:
1. Enabling creativity
Over the course of the pandemic, the ability to work remotely has been critical. And contrary to what many of us expected, remote work has helped many people’s productivity. But according to a new study from Microsoft, the long-term effects of remote work might not be as positive. Without collaborative opportunities, creativity plummets, and many people are getting burned out from online work.
The truth is, your people need to be together. Here at Vanderbloemen, we strongly believe that in-person makes all the difference, especially in communities of Believers. If in-person wasn’t important, Jesus would’ve Zoomed in. But there is immense value in face-to-face connections, water cooler conversations, and the creativity that physical environments enable.
2. Fostering community
Another thing this pandemic has made clear is that man is not meant to do life alone. Trends indicate that as we come out of this pandemic, people are going to desperately seek community. This means they will either lean into their work environment more, connecting with those around them, or they will seek community elsewhere. If you want your church, school, or organization to be a potential source of community for your staff, you need to allow space for them to be face-to-face. Not everyone will find a tight-knit community within their workspace, but it is still our job to be the people of God, fostering environments where people are free to live within their calling. And this requires personal connections outside of a screen.
3. Long term wellbeing of your staff
All of this doesn’t mean that we throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are a lot of benefits to remote work, especially in a hybrid model. Requiring your employees to primarily work in-office while allowing occasional remote days allows for flexibility while still fostering creativity. The ultimate deciding factor is how your team functions. No two organizations are alike, and you need to base your decision on how you will work going forward on how your people are most likely to thrive in their workplace. Keep in mind that getting rid of offices and desks and physical workspaces may save some time and money but could cost you in the long run if it’s not what’s best for your staff.
Lastly, we want to encourage you not to make a decision now for forevermore — allow for flexibility, and learn from your mistakes. You may think that one way of work is best for your staff and learn that it’s not quite what you expected. For the long-term health of your church or organization and those within it, be willing to learn and progress.