There’s no doubt that working at home for over a year for many people across the globe has left many yearning for a return to normalcy to get back to normal work life. However, many have seen some benefit in this new way of working, as remote work could provide some with additional flexibility that a long commute would typically hinder. So what exactly could be the solution in a post pandemic world; should we return exactly to how things were, keep remote, or meet somewhere in the middle. It seems that offering those who want to do some remote work where applicable in a hybrid style work setting is the direction many companies globally are leaning in. Katherine McConnell, who is CEO of Australian-based fintech company Brighte, weighs in on the issue by stating that she plans to implement a flexible working policy for employees once in-person work is allowed to resume. This flexible working policy would mean that McConnell would allow employees who choose to do so to continue working from home even when the work office has reopened for business. This decision came to her when she found herself missing lunch with her family while frantically running between meetings, so she blocked out one day a week to work from home which will allow her more flexibility to do this.
According to an interview she did with TIME, McConnell said “As a leader if I don’t show that I can work from home and I will do this, I think that people may copy me and easily return to how they used to do things, and I don’t want that to happen, and I know it doesn’t have to.” This is a shocking leap ahead from many other parts of the world, as many offices in the US don’t plan to resume in-person office work until September or even beyond. But the very low number of new cases as well as COVID-19 related deaths in Australia has led the country to have the option to start reopening now, which is exciting news to many. McConnell’s company Brighte is a forward thinking fintech company that helps homeowners pay for home improvements such as sustainable energy solutions like solar panels. According to McConnell, the current strategy is to allow employees one or two select days a week to work from home, but the policy is flexible as needs are very likely to change in this adaptation phase of reopening their doors more widely.