21 December 2020
When lockdown first brought a necessity to work at home many employees welcomed the opportunity to simplify their working day and support their families as they adjusted to a new normal, but as working from home moves into the long-term, for many businesses there is a risk that some of the workforce becomes isolated and less engaged, leading to health and well-being issues and a fall-off in productivity, according to Victor Christou, Partner and Head of Growth at YFM Equity Partners (YFM).
A seasoned venture capitalist and entrepreneur of 25 years with a strong track record in the tech sector, Victor supports YFM’s investments into fast growing, UK businesses. Part of his role now is to guide portfolio companies as they re-assess their working practices and transition into a post-COVID new normal. With at least one-in-three employees in the UK working remotely, there is a real need to find innovative ways to build structure and cohesion into this new corporate culture to improve employee satisfaction and effectiveness. As we all navigate the personal and societal impact of COVID-19, businesses that demonstrate good employee engagement are not only great places to work, they are also more likely to remain robust in an uncertain future – with higher staff loyalty and greater productivity strengthening their position.
“There’s no doubt that working from home during the pandemic has provided an opportunity for many to put a better work/life balance into practice, however, with it now likely to become a permanent feature of many workplaces, far-sighted businesses need to adapt both the office environment and the social implications of the move,” explains Victor. “Increasingly, I’ve seen that working from home is bringing a sense of isolation to employees that is not simply down to their physical location. People are feeling the absence of a deeper, more complex level of communication now the opportunity to connect with colleagues face-to-face has diminished. Only now do we really see how important that chat by the water cooler or quick catch up at someone’s desk really is.”