Thanks to the work of a small group of action officers from various directorates across HQ, the future is now as the AFRC returns to full capacity through a hybrid working environment, reaching phase four of assessment and evaluation over the next 12 months.
“As we cannot predict when the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted and everyone will have the option to return to full or hybrid work capacity, and we may never be able to return to 100% onsite capacity. , it is our responsibility as leaders to protect our most valuable resource – our personnel,” said Colonel Bo Shelton, future AFRC HQ Work Environment Champion, assigned to the Directorate of Logistics, engineering and force protection (A4).
“It is imperative that we proactively protect the health and safety of our staff while evolving as a business – ensuring that efficiencies are implemented at all levels to meet the demands of mission and preparation. The pandemic provides us with an opportunity to modernize our operations by facilitating and implementing change management around information technology, ergonomics or facility design that many of our traditional reservists have been using for years to civil title.
Shelton said that in phase four, the task force will assess and evaluate current timelines and milestones to ensure all applicable goals are met. There are specific metrics that have been identified by the team to ensure that headquarters messaging, supervisory and employee responsibilities, and expectations are identified and clarified to meet performance standards.
Tools are also being developed to have a repository on SharePoint with training tools for supervisors and employees, frequently asked questions and applicable advice. The team will also use knowledge sessions from the Workforce, Personnel and Services Branch (A1) and Cyberspace and Technology Branch (A6) to support the transition. There will also be rules of engagement for etiquette in the workplace – all to ensure that the AFRC provides support to the masses during its transition.
The corporate office hybrid work environment occurs at the executive level where supervisors and employees work together using a combination of onsite and offsite work to meet the demands of the organization’s mission.
In a recent survey conducted by the Office of the Chief People Officer, 76% of 745 respondents agreed that a hybrid work environment was beneficial for their management. Only 15% strongly disagreed that a hybrid work environment was beneficial.
“The survey helped shed some light on what staff members thought about the hybrid work environment,” said Lt. Col. Dustin Pawlak, former future AFRC work environment champion and leader of the director’s action group in A1. “Through communications with employees and supervisors, our goal is to make sure everyone understands that a hybrid work environment is here to stay and how it benefits everyone.”
Over the next 12 months, the cross-functional team will continue to help supervisors and employees set clear expectations, provide supervisory guidance, offer guidance on how to use specific, measurable, attainable goals , relevant and timely (SMART) and to provide a platform for collaboration. training on MS Teams, OneDrive and Jabber, as well as the facilitation of virtual days of team building and distance learning.
As part of Phases 2 and 3 of the construction of the consolidated AFRC campus, collaborative spaces will be built for small internal management-level teams or cross-management functional teams to come together to work on projects. outside the workplace. Within Building 555, management has already begun transforming conference and meeting rooms into a shared collaboration space, equipped with conference lines, Desktop Anywhere and dry boards for team exercises.
“The Future Workplace Team has accomplished so many milestones and initiatives since its genesis that it is impossible to list them all,” said Pawlak. “The improvements we’ve made to our building are definitely at the top of the list. For example, our conference rooms are now equipped with Teams, Zoom and Jabber, and building 555 has a commercial cable installed allowing Wi-Fi access which will facilitate the collaboration process for our employees.
“In addition, the Workforce, Personnel and Services Branch participated in a proof of concept, which allowed the future work environment team to gather vital data and see the apps in action,” Pawlak said. “We’ve made giant leaps across headquarters to support fighters at the unit level compared to where we were two years ago when COVID meant the majority of us were working from home. “
Pawlak said his two years at the helm of the team have been very rewarding.
“If I’ve learned anything, it’s that our leaders at headquarters genuinely care about the people in command and dedicate their time night and day to finding ways to keep us informed and united,” he said. .