“We have to ensure you, as an individual, are looked after.”
That was the commitment which Pete Hampton, Head of Collaboration Specialists for Public Sector at Cisco Webex UK, explained as part of PSE365’s Workforce Reintegration leaders debate at the Learning & Development event.
During the panel, guests explained their views and organisations’ experiences around working during the past 18 months and beyond; from those working entirely remotely in the public sector through to the newly-popularised hybrid working model through to those essential workers who’d remained in offices and workplaces throughout.
Many of those remote workers had moved from their offices during the pandemic due to health risks, but working from home presented new challenges to overcome.
As Pete explained: “What we’ve found [in research Cisco has done] is that if you’re in an office, you have those natural breaks away from the screen.”
Pete was joined on the panel by Graeme Taylor, Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development at Sevenoaks District Council, Dr Wilson Wong, Head of Insight and Futures at CIPD, and Donna Rowe-Merriman, National Secretary for Business, Community and the Environment at UNISON, who mirrored many of the points he made.
Donna described how deciding on the future of organisations’ working routines in the public sector needed to take into consideration all of the challenges, and give staff the opportunity to input whether they’re best suited as remaining remote workers, moving to a hybrid solution or coming fully back to the office again.
“Enabling staff to make that choice [is key]. Mental health is a key consideration that we’re seeing.”
And for Wilson, it was a real opportunity for public sector organisations to take that step back and take stock of what their expectations of their workforce actually were.
“This is a moment of opportunity for many workforces. What do they expect from staff? What do they want to get out of a job role?”
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