It’s not often that the local lifestyle press gives me content fit for sharing in an RPO business blog, usually I turn to it to keep updated about the city’s cultural life. However, this piece by Dr Harriet Shortt, Associate Professor in Organisation Studies at UWE Bristol (whose students PeopleScout have been privileged to employ for undergraduate placements), really stood out for me. It brings a fresh approach to the impact of work spaces and includes creative but practical tips for employers to consider as offices reopen.
Resilience, Empathy, Connectedness, Balance: all familiar to me as leadership qualities but how much greater the impact if a workplace embodies these qualities not just in its individuals but in its shared environment, structure and space? That’s not simply a matter of design and layout – though the article discusses those - the sensory and visual impact of workplaces is set by how colleagues behave and are encouraged to behave.
Dr Shortt rightly identifies safety as the top priority right now. A part of me will always be preoccupied with productivity and outcomes too, and I’m ok with that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t recognise the importance of how things feel, or are experienced, in the workplace beyond “the functional parts of the process” of being at work. After all, that’s a principle we already apply to our RPO products and services, where candidate experience is an integral part of our strategic partnerships, embedded in our performance metrics and rigorously evaluated.
"the safety of staff is paramount and should be at the top of the agenda, but do not forget that people will be returning to work with all sorts of emotions and feelings about what we’ve just been through"