Sweatpants instead of jacket

Sweatpants instead of jacket

This is where the blog posts of Birthe Christiansen from the BCM Academy GmbH, our subsidiary, will be published. 

Of course, home office is not an option for all professions - there are even a whole range of jobs that are difficult or impossible to relocate to the home office, just think of employees in production, research and development, facility management or even cleaning staff.

"Not everybody loves the home office..."

...but the classic office jobs can suddenly be transferred home without any problems. Not everyone breaks out into cheers - for some it is even a horror! At home you don't have the space at all, the internet connection is too lame or the little ones would rather play than let mum or dad work or mum doesn't feel like having dad around all the time or the other way around.

But the whole thing does have advantages somehow:

  • The journey to work has been reduced to a few seconds

  • ​You can wear comfortable clothes, daddy's tie or mummy's office pumps now serve as a "disguise" for the little ones (please no cliché scolding...)

  • The Home Canteen is not that bad

  • You have less distraction from the annoying colleagues... okay, we miss the "good" ones of course...

  • Unlike the open-plan office, I can open the window when I want. And close it again.

  • Instead of desk-sharing, I have converted my favourite place into an office and now my fixed place

  • We're doing something for the climate, the car stays in the garage

  • Deceleration ... especially for remote access to the systems

  • ​...

So probably everyone keeps his personal pro and contra list.

What's stuck is probably some kind of "traumatization"...

...but what happens when we return to the offices from the home offices, which are often not planned using BC plans but rather improvised? We will certainly get used to tie and collar again quickly - but what remains in the minds of the employees? Definitely a kind of "traumatisation" in terms of infections, viruses and the risk of illness.

The virus has taught us that daily hand hygiene plays a major role and that it is painful to realize that keeping a distance from each other can help to stay healthy. But how does all this fit in with the office concepts that will be so "popular" and normal by the beginning of 2020?

Desk sharing, for example, is often found in open-plan offices where many employees do the same or very similar work. This model is popular in call centers, for example. When an employee comes into the office, he or she looks for a free seat. Often the workstations are then equipped with a monitor, thin client, keyboard and mouse. In the best case, the employee brings his headset and favourite cup with him or has his belongings in a personal, lockable case or rolling container.

"Can we just go back to the shared desk models after Corona?"

Will shared keyboards and mice, headsets, telephone handsets or tables close by in an open-plan office be accepted in the future? Can bosses still be responsible for this?

If a person in an open-plan office has been infected with a virus, not only is this person "out" for two weeks (in the case of the corona virus), but in case of doubt the whole shift is "out". This merely describes the "responsibility for continuity" - not to mention the responsibility for care:

Due to the duty of care for the health and life of the employees, as specified in § 618 BGB, the employer has to avert avoidable damage to the employees and protect them.

The path to be followed is probably not the same for everyone - there will be areas and departments for which the workplace is actually revolutionising and which will in future work mainly from home.

There will still be jobs that simply cannot be moved home. And then there will be the mixed cases - teams that sometimes meet to work together creatively and shift the concentrated work to home.

"One task of crisis management is to anticipate the return to normal operations."

In any case, it will also be a task of crisis management to prepare the return from the crisis to normal operations with regard to the employees. One should anticipate their questions and concerns and have solutions and answers ready.

For example, security measures and precautions should be taken, especially for colleagues working in particularly exposed locations or under certain circumstances - and this should then be communicated.

Particularly exposed employees are, for example:

  • Employees in open-plan offices

  • Employees with desk sharing

  • Canteen staff

  • Cleaning personnel

  • Reception staff

  • Security personnel

  • Employees with customer contact (counter, but also sales)

  • etc.​

"We-Care-Messages" for employees!

A golden rule in crisis communication is not to forget the employees! They are very important and unfortunately often neglected stakeholders. They should feel well looked after during this crisis but also return to their jobs afterwards with a good feeling and a planned security.

#crisismanagement #dontforgetyouremployees #bcmacademyhh