Back to the Office, This is What PR Has to Do
PRINDONESIA.CO | Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Back to the Office, This is What PR Has to Do
Public relations became an important part of the critical team during the pandemic.

JAKARTA, PRINDONESIA.CO – In July most employees will most likely be back in the office. This follows a number of government policies related to relaxation, PSBB (large-scale social restrictions) transition, and the operation of public transportation. In contrast to the state civil service (ASN) and SOEs which had returned to the office since the end of May, private corporations adopted a more flexible policy.

Anthony Kosasih’s reason, Chief Operating Officer of Mekari, might represent most private corporate actors. "Because it’s just the PSBB that has ended, while the number of Covid cases is still increasing. It’s natural if there are still concerns from management and employees,” he said while speaking at a virtual discussion event titled "Insight Talents: HR Guide for Effective Office Reopening " on Tuesday (9/6/2020).

For startups in the technology industry, going back to the office is not an issue. Because they are used to working in a digital way and system. "In fact, the issue lies in office space because not all startup companies have large offices. Meanwhile, when returning to work, companies must follow the rules of physical distancing," said Ken Ratri, founder and CEO of Geek Hunter at the event titled "Best Practice in the New Normal Era to Manage Your Business Productivity" on Thursday (11/6/2020).

One thing for sure, currently all divisions, especially the HR, Risk Management, and PR teams, are collaborating intensively in developing protocols and communication strategies to prepare a new work culture when the office returns to operations. For DANA, a digital funding application company, PR became an important part of the critical team during the pandemic. They are the ones who make work plans, including managing information, education, and company policies, both to internal and external parties. "Including, socializing New Norms Socialization in a new normal era," said Agustina Samara, Chief People Officer of DANA on Tuesday (9/6/2020).

Protocol

Mekari, who re-opened the office on June 8, 2020, decided to choose employees to work from the office based on the priorities and survey results. Activities are still limited such as not working at the office every day, there are team rotations, working according to office hours, and following safety and healthy workplace guidelines. Before the office reopened, they had made a number of preparations. "We decided to empathize and respect every employee's decision by not forcing them to return to work from the office," he said.

Working at the office must also have a clear purpose. For example, the work is more effective if done in the office or in order to be more effective in coordinating and communicating with teams. Even so, this policy must be supported by technology tools so that each employee can work from anywhere (working remotely).

Agustina agrees. "Technology and automation support employees to be able to help their divisions achieve targets, agile in making decisions and short-term plans," she said. Companies must also meet the needs of the employees to support their work from anywhere. For example, laptops, internet networks, and making sure employees are up to date with technology and disciplined. 

Other important things are ensuring that every leader has a virtual leadership mindset. "The mindset of leaders must be changed. Don't be paranoid when you don't meet physically because right now the focus is on result driven and productivity tracking," she said. "Leaders must also have good listening skills, be proactive in building a new normal, and sensitive work culture. Especially, if there are members who experience demotivation," she concluded. (rtn)

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