Preparing for the return to the office

Deb LaMere, CHRO, DatasiteDeb LaMere, CHRO, Datasite
As many professionals prepare or have already returned to their offices, there are several issues to consider as a human resources leader, especially if your company is a technology software company that serves many of these professionals. For example, when, how and where do your employees meet with clients? How will you continue to attract and retain talent that has helped create your in-demand software? Or the employees who provide your customers with service support? How will you help your employees return to the office or adopt a hybrid work model, as well as ensure they have work life balance?

Our company recently surveyed more than 240 US dealmakers on how they were approaching a potential return to the office, and though the findings show what dealmakers are thinking as they head back, the responses shed light on some of the areas all HR leaders will be tackling in the next six months.

Ready for a change of scenery

Not unlike the broader workforce, we found that one in four dealmakers plan to change jobs this year. For HR leaders, this has obvious implications for both attracting and retaining talent. The tsunami turnover, as it has been dubbed by some, is especially challenging for fast-growing technology companies already in a highly competitive market for talent.

To continue to attract and retain talent, technology and software companies will need to go even further in providing attractive benefits and creating and maintaining a culture that is flexible and makes employees feel connected and seen, so they give their best work. For example, at Datasite, we’ve made diversity and inclusion a priority this year, recognizing key social topics, such as gender equity, bringing your whole self to work, mental health and volunteerism, with regular quarterly events.
Our latest event to celebrate Pride Month featured a discussion between our Chief Product Officer, Thomas Fredell,and Esera Tuaolo, a former NFL football player and author of Alone in the Trenches: My life as a Gay May in the NFL.

Women are more burned out than their male peers

Women dealmakers reported higher rates of burnout and poorer mental health throughout the pandemic when compared to their male counterparts. This mirrors the broader market, where women in the US lost more than 12 million jobs during the pandemic’s she-cession. This may be the result of women doing more caretaking throughout the pandemic.

Still, companies and HR leaders are going to have to take concrete steps to address this going forward, including prioritizing employee wellness with comprehensive benefits packages that include mental health resources. Companies must also communicate with transparency. HR departments, especially, need to be fully tuned in to their employees, which will benefit their performance and satisfaction.

HR leaders can also make sure there are supportive policies in place that provide time off for mental wellness. Last year, after weeks in crisis, we recognized our employees needed a chance to reset and renew and were glad to offer them an extra two days off in the summer to use however they liked. We also partnered closely with our health plans globally to provide additional resources for physical and mental wellness, such as access to virtual workouts and employee assistance programs.

More use of technology

Technology has been a lifeline for people and businesses throughout the pandemic. Dealmakers in our research said they will be using even more technology going forward to ensure more efficient and effective management of M&A. They won’t be the only ones. After months of working remotely, technology and software company employees are also using more technology and tools to remain productive. The question for HR leaders going forward will be how to ensure these employees continue to receive the support they need, whether they are in the office or at home. Working through the pandemic last year, for example, our Datasite service team handled more than 300,000 customer interactions and spent close to 150,000 hours helping customers.

Humans are at the heart of all organizations. As we emerge from the pandemic, companies that keep that top of mind will be best positioned to succeed.
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