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Pivoting to a people-focused workplace

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While executives have long recognized that employees’ well-being is important, the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized how significant it really is. Work, life, and health became inseparable to maintain productivity, engagement and safety in the workplace especially during crises.

In 2020, COVID-19 revealed how the governing workforce strategies using retrospective metrics and measurements to describe the employees’ current state severely limits an organization’s ability to survive disruptions. Hence, companies were prompted to prioritize workers’ physical and mental well-being as these turned out to be critical to operations.

To thrive in a post-pandemic world, some organizations took quick action to redirect sources towards keeping the workforce healthy: moving workers into remote work arrangements, implementing testing and contact tracing strategies for onsite workers, establishing new programs for emergency medical leave, providing employees’ children and senior care support, and boosting workers’ physical, mental, and financial health.

In a 2021 Global Human Capital Trends survey of Deloitte to its employees worldwide, the top three objectives of work transformation were identified: improving quality of work, increasing innovation at the workplace and building on the workers’ well-being.

Deloitte Global (DTTL) is a multinational professional services network headquartered in London with an office in Manila for risk and financial advisory and business process solutions. DTTL understands that it is paramount to shift from using workforce insights to improve old patterns of work as the world enters into a new normal.

To pivot and adapt, now, more than ever, a mentally healthy workplace matter. Thus, the global organization played an important role in overcoming fears around health, safety and job uncertainty leading to anxiety, frustration, and low morale among the employees. It kept all employees informed with accurate, timely, and appropriate operations and working policies during the lockdowns and implemented flexible, remote work options and the right to disconnect.

The company also puts efforts in keeping their workers’ kids engaged for a few hours while their parents work from home during community lockdowns, a new dimension introduced for keeping a “social” workplace even when employees are socially distanced.

In its 2021 Special Report, DTTL explores one set of possible answers to the central question: How might the worker-employer relationship evolve to meet the opportunities and challenges of the post–COVID-19 world?

According to the report, these pressures brought by crises yielded great benefits. Workers showed remarkable resilience and achieved innovative results that might have taken years to materialize. However, questions about whether organizations were doing enough to support and safeguard their workers also resurfaced.

The report highlights two key contexts to foster the worker-employer relationship in the future: the type, consistency, speed, and effectiveness of workplace government action and how talent availability influences how workers seek employment; and how organizations access and retain these talents amid crises. These two factors enabled DTTL to explore four potential futures of how the world of work could evolve and be prepared for it. — Allyana A. Almonte

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