Home office has been a hot topic of discussion not only since 2020. However, the Corona Pandemic and the associated contact restrictions have once again and intensively brought working from home into focus. The forced working situation at home has resulted in many innovations, both technical and communicative. Now it is important to use optimization potentials and to build on the experience of the employees. How can change management support this process?
Change management accompanies companies during changes. The focus is on the employees who go through these changes. With the help of change management, the negative effects that changes can bring about are to be minimized. This is usually done with concept and plan. "Normally, for example, the introduction of new software involves a longer process. So companies have more time to inform, train and accompany employees in the process", explains Nicolas Fiedel, Head of Change & Training at Sycor. However, the Corona Pandemic has not made such preparation possible.
When far-reaching contact restrictions were adopted in Germany in March, many people were unable to return to their usual jobs. Home office was the new work model for all those whose job profile made it possible in principle, i.e. mainly employees with an office job.
Mobile working has now been maintained by many companies since March. In some companies, employees first had to be equipped with mobile devices such as laptops. Many were not prepared for working at home and had to make do with poorly equipped workplaces.
While for some people the changes were easy and without problems, for others they were associated with many challenges and also negative experiences. This is confirmed by an online survey of the Fraunhofer Institute (in German).
The survey has been online since the beginning of April and since then has been providing regular findings on experiences in the home office for employees. Of the 500 people surveyed, almost 80 percent were satisfied with the home office situation in April, with social exchange as well as support and solidarity within the team receiving poor marks.
""In general, technical and work organization factors are considered to be more influential for smooth work in the home office than human factors, such as the lack of separation between work and private life and the lack of spontaneous exchange of colleagues. However, it has been shown that precisely these factors are negatively related to satisfaction". "
Prof. Wolfgang Prinz, deputy director of the institute, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT
Every week more and more employees return to the offices. The return is partly positively received, but for many, this measure is now also associated with mixed feelings. According to Hannah Schade from the Leibniz Institute for Work Research at the TU Dortmund University, there is also a reason for this: "People have weaned themselves off what they had come to terms with. This is a moment when trust can be gambled away. If people have become accustomed to freedom, resistance will arise when it is taken away from them."
This is where change management comes in. According to Fiedel, the experiences that employees have gained during their home office should now be actively queried. "These far-reaching changes were necessary so that companies could continue to work despite corona and contact restrictions. With these experiences, companies gain insights into what can be done better in the future. This is the only way for companies to build on this experience. This is a process that we accompany in change management. It has to be evaluated what might work better in the home office than in the office and vice versa".
The challenges of remote working during the Corona crisis was also the topic of our Sycor TechTalk. Here Nicolas Fiedel, Head of Change & Training at Sycor GmbH, explains how change management can help to see the experiences of employees as an opportunity (video in german).
Do you have questions on this topic, would you like more detailed information and are you looking for an expert to help you?
Please contact us! We look forward to a successful cooperation with you.