One of the team Lenwood Ross shared this article and it really resonated with me.
There is a lot of talk about going back to work, but does anybody know what this really means.
There seems to be three options
- Go back to the office
- Work from home
- Hybrid - which is go back to the office and work from home
My partners 26 year old son cannot wait to go back to the office as he loves the sociability. Being able to go for beers with fellow workers in the evening.
My business partner, Adam Gray, lives 2 hour, each way, train journey and a $150 train ticket, from London and sees little point of starting commuting again.
The factory system
Working from nine to five and going to the office is part of the factory system, which was started in the industrial revolution. The idea was to make work as easy as possible so that factory owners could pay people as little as possible.
Before that we all worked at home and were based on outcome. A cobbler, made shoes, the butcher sold meat, they all worked from home and if the cobbler didn't make any shoes then the family didn't eat.
Work has changed under covid
I've been on calls with senior people, where children have walked in, dogs walked in and cats walked in. we see this as normal today.
Zoom and Teams have changed the way meetings work as now we see the people's faces and where as people may have hidden in meetings in the office, now they are visible. Meetings have become democracied, no everybody have a chance to speak out more than ever before.
Let's not go back to a one-size fits all system
Work has to be flexible, not hybrid, we need to be offering people an office, we also need to offer people to work from home, we also need to be offering people a "third place" which might be a local workspace. Here in the UK councils need to be transforming the high street to offer retail space, domestic accommodation and workspaces to allow people to live and work locally. It will be the commute that suffers.
The digital / social organization
Here at DLA Ignite we help businesses create a digital organisation using social media. This is about creating digital employees and digital processes, I'm not talking about your business spending millions on digital tools you will never use.
Leadership in digital, starts with your employees and making the processes more efficient and effective and we do this with social media. One of our clients summed it up nicely.
This is all very well at a high level, what values should we have, what about our purpose and for the accountants out there, how do we measure this? Telstra use 5 measures.
You can see that what often can be assumed as "fluffy" can be measured.
Mental health and resilience
The digital organization will also support your business to strip out cost and make the company more efficient. But it will also provide the employee engagement companies crave for and the shared sense of purpose.
This will have a massive impact on mental health and resilience.
In many ways, going back to the office will not be like flipping a switch. Our lives — and our understanding of ourselves as parts of an interconnected whole — have changed irrevocably. The pandemic is taking a serious emotional toll by itself, and the country’s ongoing protests have pulled back the curtain on how trauma falls unevenly throughout our society. Employers need to take this new collective understanding into consideration as they communicate and plan for the future. They need to communicate with empathy and develop strategies that put mental health in lockstep with physical health and safety. In other words, they need to support and promote resilience.