When I was looking through my closet recently, I realized that the clothes that I would have regularly worn into the office prior to COVID were actually getting dusty! In particular, my blazers, a regular staple of my pre-COVID wardrobe, were amassing large amounts of dust. While it is just dust, it is far more symbolic than that. Our lives have completely changed over the past 2 years. In the workplace, many of us have shifted to working remotely and are trying to figure out what this is going to look like on the other side of COVID. Will our blazers be dusty forever?
It is not only employees that are asking these questions, but employers are also looking into this as well. It is important to acknowledge that the answers on how to move this forward are not straightforward and many different perspectives must be considered. Recently, we have been working with a few of our clients on developing sustainable work location frameworks. Questions to consider as part of this planning include:
What do we want our workplace to look like after COVID?
Where do our clients/patients/customers want to receive services?
Where do our employees want to work?
Can our teams be productive, collaborative, and innovative without ever working together face-to-face?
How do work location policies impact employee recruitment and retention?
These are just some examples of the many questions that organizations are working through. As these questions are being explored, the bigger question becomes, what weight do we apply to each perspective, or are all perspectives weighted equally? Each organization will likely take a different path to come to their decision on what this will look like.
I anticipate the next few months being very interesting as organizations work through these questions and determine what the future of work will look like. Without COVID, these conversations would not be happening, at least not on this magnitude. We now have an opportunity to redesign and reimagine how we work with real world evidence from the past 2 years including our perspectives on what has worked well and where there have been challenges. I hope that we can build on those learnings to land on solutions that make our workplaces better.
I am excited to meet with people face-to-face again and hopefully dust off those old blazers. How about you?