How working behaviours have changed during the lockdown – and why they might be here to stay thumbnail image Published on 20th July 2020

We are seeing a prevailing shift in the way we work. Slowly, over the course of the last few years, companies far and wide have adopted 21st-century ideas, leading to a rise in remote working, flexibility, and co-working spaces. This cultural shift has only been exacerbated by the recent pandemic, sending it hurtling towards its inevitable conclusion.

 

Yes, working as we know it has changed.

 

Now it is as if 10 o’clock is the new 9 o’clock. People don’t feel shackled to the old notion that work has to be a 9-5, Monday to Friday commitment. We can set our own boundaries and fit work around our life rather than the other way around. It is a shift we can’t help but notice; before COVID-19, call volumes around 10-11 were up 1%. Now it is up 17%, undeniably showing people are changing how and when they work. We are also seeing fewer early risers, with calls made in the early hours (after 7 a.m.) dropping by around 5%.

 

The question is, how will this affect our work post-pandemic? Are these changes here to stay and if so, how can we keep up with the changes?

 

Flexibility

This change is part of a wider desire for flexibility. It has recently been a cornerstone of discussion surrounding work-life balance. And with workforces shifting younger and younger every year, it is important to acknowledge how much these generations value flexibility.

 

COVID-19 gave many people their first glimpse at a new way of working. Now they could, reasonably, start when they please. They could take a longer lunch and work later in the evening. Or they could take some time to play with their kids, knowing they can complete their work in a manner that suits them. People can now – to a degree – define what work means to them.

 

People like that. And businesses should too; studies show that employees are more loyal to flexible workplaces. Now we have had a taste for it, 45% of people expect it to become a permanent change.

 

This new sense of freedom can contribute to greater productivity, employee engagement, and personal wellbeing. A business can thrive on this and the increased likelihood of staff retention. It is also a good way to show you care about the mental health of your staff. There are very few downsides, which explains why it has been so important in recent months.

 

Cause and effect

Consider how a shift in working hours will affect your operations. Customers already have an expectation that we be available at all times. If you want to provide a desirable service, you need to be there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if they aren’t calling you, they might be emailing you or messaging you on WhatsApp. And good customer service means responding to them immediately. Our approach to communication has changed; it only seems logical our workday should change too.

 

Indeed, over 60% of people think the traditional eight-hour workday is becoming obsolete. And if we were ever to move to a four-day work week, it would change even more dramatically. This is the thought process behind every business in the country – including your clients. We have all had time to reflect and many of these changes are likely to become permanent.

 

You have to respond in kind if you want to keep up. Could this shift lead to an increase in calls, especially ones out of hours? You need to be ready for that. While you have to think about flexibility in your own organisation, you must consider how your customers are approaching it too. Time will tell how working lives will change in the UK, but you need to be prepared no matter what comes your way.

 

Don’t leave your customers out in the cold; ensure they always have someone they can talk to 24 hours a day. At CallCare, our professionals work round the clock to keep your clients satisfied. If you need some extra call centre support, get in touch with one of our team today on 0345 055 8444.