4.2.3 Decisions and changes made within the company In this paragraph, the organisational change and culture will be discussed as these are strategic decisions made by the higher management within the company.
Through such changes in everyone ’s daily life, adjustments consequently occur in any company. First starting with remote working and the importance of technology in such context, to maintain communication, management must adapt such as illustrated by this interviewee: So, before the pandemic, we were using WebEx, and I think our department was one of the first who, who started using Zoom. So, in April, our departments switch to zoom. And I think about July's August, last year, the full companies switch to zoom (Informant #6). Furthermore, teams had to adapt the learning to the work environment and consider doing it online, as an interviewee mentioned: Trainings, absolutely. Because there you may not forget, we have role plays included, this is something that is hard to-do so therefore, we redesigned our programs again, so really, we have a program for face to face, and we have a program for virtual (Informant #3). Adapting the work environment is a recurring aspect of the strategic decisions made by companies, “the expectation certainly in our business is just like completely in the office, hybrid model or just you are in the office when you need to be a few days a week. But we have empowered flexibility ” (Informant #5). Other mention the flexibility given to th eir employees “People are given the freedom to decide whether or not they come to the office. We cannot argue with that ” (Informant #2). However, it is still uncertain which way of working will be used in the future, as this quote illustrates “It is not concrete yet what the 'board' wants to implement after COVID-19, but that is perhaps also so that managers themselves can give an interpretation to see what works best. It also depends on the function ” (Informant #2). In the meanwhile, to ensure the safety of everyone, some companies have implemented ways to update others about their own work environment: We have an app where you must indicate whether you are coming to the office or whether you want to have a workplace so that you can book it or whether it is a visit that you have a meeting somewhere in a large room (Informant #2). This matter of work environment impacts everyone; therefore, people are still currently cautious and are still uncertain about the future.
In these times of uncertainty, strong company culture is crucial to keep the employees motivated and hopeful for the rest of their experience in their company. Throughout the interview’s managers emphasised the importance of the physical and mental safety of their employees, as illustrated in this quote: From a business perspective, the sort of the pantheon of importance is, our people are safe. Our people and the families and the friends and neighbours are safe. Once we can check that box, it is how did we want to feel, you know, even if they are safe, we want to be able to reassure them. And if they have concerns, not force them to do something that's going to make them say, maybe this is not the company for me (Informant #4).
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