With lockdown restrictions starting to lift, businesses are carrying out risk assessments within their offices, implementing strict safety measures and, ultimately, looking forward to having their teams back together again after so many weeks of isolation.
Defining the way we work, understanding the desires, needs and expectations of existing and prospective employees in this area is a new challenge for the games industry. The full time, on-site roles with set 9-to-5 working hours that we have been used to seeing, and recruiting into, are going to be less attractive now as we re-enter the world of working together post-lockdown.
From our conversations with candidates, we are seeing an overwhelming desire for more flexible working – spending some time in the office or studio, but also working remotely too.
The past few months have been a period of reflection for many – where they want to work, how they want to work, whether they really want a daily commute and, for some, there’s even a consideration of relocating homes. Mindsets regarding working life have changed – in line with that shift, studios may now have to shift their thinking on working practices in order to attract and retain staff.
As well as the pandemic prompting reflection on where people want to work, it’s also challenged the status quo on traditional ‘office hours’. If the last few months have taught us anything, it’s that many people have been able to work effectively and productively from home – even when juggling childcare and home schooling, making their working hours fit around home responsibilities, rather than the other way around.
“We are seeing an overwhelming desire for flexible working.”
Progressive employers are using their experience in lockdown to measure productivity based on the needs of the role and the outputs – rather than the traditional focus on the number of hours worked. Leaders and managers should be encouraged to continue to focus on performance, rather than time. If the job is getting done properly, does it matter whether your staff are working 9-5, Monday through to Friday?
Communication and response times are important, of course, but otherwise trusting that team members will get the job done. Being judged on outputs will continue to motivate and attract and retain staff.
Meanwhile, expect change to continue. Individual circumstances are likely to change over the coming weeks and months. Staff may have to isolate again; some, sadly, may get symptoms or have family members who are poorly. We are being warned of second waves, and local outbreaks with more local lockdowns. Of course, there is a lot to consider just to reopen offices in a COVID-19 secure way, but this is also a unique opportunity to rethink the way we work – to welcome the new challenges and opportunities to be creative with working practices to benefit both employers and employees. And to get ahead of the curve to not only retain great people but to attract from a wider talent pool than ever before.
The phrase ‘we’re all in this together’ has gained genuine significance during this crisis and we’re absolutely here to help. Our team is fully focussed on you. We’re open for business and if we can help any existing or new clients during this time with insights or with hiring needs, please get in touch: 01925 839700; firstname.lastname@example.org; @weareamiqus