The Impact of Remote Working on Healthcare Communicators

Healthcare Communications

Pre pandemic, working from home as someone who works in healthcare communications was purely for the rare occasion when an important delivery was expected, or you needed to crack on away from the busy office environment. Then very quickly, remote working became the new normal. An industry that had previously travelled, spent time at events on behalf of clients or for professional growth, brainstormed in groups and generally participated in a buzzing business atmosphere, was now sat alone at a home desk all day.

The Public Relations and Communications Association conducted a survey found that even after the pandemic, a large proportion of the industry will move away from the traditional in-office work structure and employ remote working on a permanent scale.

The Healthcare Communications Association also a survey with over 130 early career healthcare communicators, which looked into the effects of the workplace and personal changes over the last 18 months, and what employees would like to preserve, moderate, or remove entirely as we leave the constraints of covid. The same survey was undertaken with 40 Future Leaders in healthcare communications. The results had outlined three clear points of interest for healthcare communications leaders to prioritize as we move into the coming months.

1. Flexibility

There was a distinct emphasis on flexibility being pushed forward and heavily endorsed by team and business leaders. The Future Leaders was decisive that regardless of whether we’re at home or in the office, individual and team well-being must be prioritized and not left to suffer as we transition into a new working period. There should be stress on managers initiating mental health discussions and continuous investment in training to support members of staff.

1. Networking

One of the main pitfalls of remote working is that medical communicators find networking much more difficult. Therefore, employer-led occasions made to establish professional relationships, such as virtual coffee meetings or small get-togethers, were suggestions people thought would be helpful. This would let employees make connections on a smaller scale, allowing early career healthcare communicators to expand their network beyond their own workplace and into new agencies or businesses.

1. Work/life balance

Without the distinct feeling of pulling up to the office and saying goodbye on the walkout at the end of the day, healthcare communicators found the distinction between being at work and being at home harder to define. The survey showed how participants thought arranging time away from work, such as lunch, breaks etc., would help a large degree, especially if the employer pushes it. Short transitional periods at the start and end of the day was also a popular suggestion to achieve the same aim. Overall, the survey demonstrated how the most important factor in a covid work environment is a company culture that respects and defines the distinction between work and personal life, which is believed to be a concept that must be enforced in a top-down approach.

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