31 May 2021
31 May 2021
Roundtable – Back to Business in Australia
What a year it’s been! And after heaps of online virtual events, the Bespoke Careers Sydney and Melbourne teams finally hosted their first in-person events in May. The informal roundtables were a great opportunity to catch up with clients after a tumultuous year to get the lowdown on how they are getting back to business post-pandemic. The sessions held at local establishments – The Stockroom (Melbourne) and The Primus Hotel (Sydney) covered returning to the workplace, extra measures introduced, and the various growing pains and culture changes that employers are currently facing.
We’ve rounded up the key pointers across various topics discussed below:
Working From Home Patterns:
- Various employers have got flexible working arrangements installed – this does vary across office locations and dependant on local COVID situations
- Trusting staff have become key for employers, some are advocating that in terms of flexibility and as long as the communication within the team is good, then working from home should not be a problem.
- That said, hybrid arrangements can potentially end up segregated – but how this can be avoided is a current question for employers.
- Also, managing the expectations between the business owners and the employees in regard to working in the studio versus working from home will be an ongoing challenge.
- Lots of practices are re-introducing staff benefits again for example: Pilates twice a week, a meditation / quiet post in the office, complimentary gym membership etc.
- Studio encouraging teams to maximise the use of their annual leave and take the time off after a difficult year, to allow the teams to fully reset.
- Introduction of buddy / mentor schemes have been implemented on numerous occasions to help with staff that are feeling disconnected.
- Some practices have found it helpful to bring teams together for the day to get them reconnected and keep a team spirit alive.
- The past year have given staff the opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and what they want for themselves which has ultimately resulted in some people leaving their roles and moving on.
- The structure of teams is something that has been reassessed by studios and various new policies are being introduced in light of COVID.
- Practices are reporting pressure from staff for promotions and pay rises – if not met, this can affect whether staff stay with the studio or not.
- Studios that have the most trust in their staff, allow them to feel comfortable and take an inclusive approach appear likely to have higher retention.
- Finally, revised sponsorships lists have been announced that may affect the industry if Architect and Draftsperson have been removed.
- The majority of practices have downsized in the past year but have found that moving offices had help has helped the team communicate better for example, if they’re all now on the same floor where they weren’t before.
- Companies have adopted Teams / Zoom meetings and they are here to stay – the introduction of individual screens allows a voice to those whose might be quiet in a larger meeting room and this had been reflected in offices.
Overall, it appears that practices are still adopting a trial-and-error tactic when it comes to getting back to business post-pandemic. Keeping staff motivated and truly understanding expectations is key for employers at this time. The question of vaccines and whether they will be required to return to work is also a big pointer when discussing these topics and is not something that employers currently know how to deal with. Ultimately, post-pandemic the situation is ever changing around the globe and it will be a case of waiting for Government and Health Board advice before being able to make bigger decisions.
Would you like to gain a better understanding how satisfied those working in the sector are and what really matters to them? Download your copy of our 2021 Global Job Satisfaction Survey here.
Author: Molly McCloy, Marketing Coordinator, Bespoke Careers