Reimagining work in the new normal

The coronavirus pandemic forced companies around the world and across all industries into crisis mode. Practically overnight organisations had to implement plans to enable their entire workforce to work from home securely and productively, and put in place emergency strategies to ensure the resiliency, and in many cases survival, of their business.

As governments now seek to reopen economies and employees begin returning, albeit very gradually, to office environments, many organisations are realising they can’t simply go back to business as usual. An unprecedented opportunity has presented itself to reimagine work in the new normal emerging from the pandemic and to do that they need staff input.

Employee feedback was a vital insight that fuelled decision-making as companies adapted to lockdown scenarios. Organisations must now lean on it further as they think about how to serve their customers, source the best talent and incentivise their workforce in a new age defined by flexible working. A culture of curiosity is key to reimagining work.

“Returning to offices as we knew them is not just about real estate and facilities; it’s about how we collaborate and be productive in a more dynamic environment,” says Becky Cantieri, chief people officer at SurveyMonkey, a leading global survey software company that helps organisations transform feedback into action.

Employee feedback can be a rich source of insight to potential solutions

“Insights from employees enable us to look at our workspaces, how we program our offices, what the purpose of an office actually is, how much we continue to embrace home working, and what perks, benefits and support for staff look like in this reimagined work environment.”

Even before COVID-19 surfaced, nine out of ten workers told a study by Harvard Business Review they would be willing to earn less money to do more meaningful work, and the correlation between happy employees and successful businesses will only strengthen further. When employees feel supported and engaged, they are more committed to their work, which enhances not only employee retention, but also customer experience.

With employees in multiple sectors facing significant change as a result of the pandemic, it’s crucial companies understand what’s important to their staff and how they can support them through any transitions. Most important is communication and bringing staff on the journey as decisions are made, rather than simply imposing change.

As they go forward, organisations face a mix of strategic and operational questions, and employee feedback can be a rich source of insight to potential solutions. For example, what new work policies, processes and training are required for health and safety? How should organisations allocate resources across teams? How can organisations foster feelings of belonging and inclusion in virtual or distributed teams?

SurveyMonkey infographic

As organisations navigate these challenges, SurveyMonkey’s Enterprise survey plan provides a scalable, secure solution to help organisations collect strategic and day-to-day input from employees and customers. Its professional services team, meanwhile, provides expertise and optional hands-on help to build and launch programmes that enable quick, effective decisions.

“We’ve long held the belief feedback should be at the heart of the relationship with your employees and I suspect companies that didn’t embrace this so much before COVID-19 will now realise its power in shaping both staff and customer outcomes,” says Cantieri.

“Dialogue always strengthens relationship-building. We are uniquely positioned to use our own product to support our employees and our employees support our customers using our customer experience products GetFeedback and Usabilla. We’ve always had curiosity in our DNA and this has guided us through the pandemic and helped us stay agile.

“We’ve also seen organisations recognise the importance of a culture of curiosity during these testing times, as evidenced by the uptake of our survey templates. Our platform and solutions serve as powerful tools to support our customers with their own curiosity and help them be at the centre of conversations with their employees and customers.”

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