The credit union workplace is undergoing a dramatic transformation with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is undeniably a crisis, but it’s also an opportunity to hit the reset button on workplaces and policies that haven’t kept up and embrace the future of work to come out of this stronger than before. It’s an opportunity to become a workplace leader, attracting, engaging, and retaining the best talent.
Before the pandemic, way back in 2019, remote work was one of the most popular perks that job seekers would ask for. A survey by the tech recruiting firm Dice even put it as THE most important perk, tied with healthcare. Many firms resisted this change, worried about whether or not they could trust employees or monitor performance. Fast forward to today and pretty much every organization has a remote workforce, with a few starting to dip their toes into a partial reopening.
Now that we’re several months deep into a remote working experiment, were the fears about remote work justified?
Not at all. A survey by PWC this summer showed that 71% of workers were as productive or more productive during the lockdown than they were in the office. The same survey given to their employers put productivity even higher! And 89% of employers projected that many or most of their employees would work from home at least one day a week after the end of the pandemic.
The results of this working from home experience are overwhelmingly positive so far. They also show that the office isn’t dead, but rather it needs to change to reflect both a greater trust in employees and the changing nature of work.
Traditionally, office staff have performed routine, repetitive tasks, and this is what the workplace was optimized for. But with the technological revolution and our advancement into the information age, work has shifted towards more complex, project-based work involving collaboration across teams.
Workplaces haven’t kept up with this evolution, and the productivity boost of working from home is just one indicator of this. In our recent workplace research and whitepaper “Credit Union Workplaces and the Future of Work,” with data from more than 1,200 credit union employees, we’ve uncovered gaps between employees’ expectations for how they want to be supported in the workplace and how their workplaces really support them.
The disruption of this remote working experiment is an opportunity to take stock of your workforce, understand the work they do and how they do it, and plan for both how and where they do work in the future.
How many days a week will they be in the office? How many will need dedicated workstations? What type of collaborative or focused spaces will they need? How can we empower them to work however best gets the job done?
Most of the problems we’ve identified in our workplace research trace their source back to a disconnect between what employees expect out of their workplace and the reality of how it supports them. The key is in understanding where these gaps between expectations and reality lie, and then developing strategies to close them.
The conversation around what the post COVID-19 workplace looks like is quickly growing in the credit union industry, and to help guide this conversation we’re hosting a webinar to cover the results of our research and host a conversation among credit union leaders about how they plan to embrace the future of work.
And most of all, we hope you and your employees stay safe and healthy during this ongoing crisis.