Available for Interviews: Leni Rivera
Leni Rivera is a Workplace Experience specialist and author of its very first book in the industry, Workplace Experience. Her passion is creating work environments that enable employees to be both productive and happy, regardless of where that is.
What Leni Rivera can say in an interview about
The Workplace Revolution:
Is the “hybrid workplace” only a half-measure, or is it the end destination of this workplace evolution? To understand the direction of the workplace revolution, it’s important to first understand how the change began, and the extreme circumstances around which it did.
There was always a centralized workspace pre-pandemic. While working remotely was prevalent for decades before the pandemic, it was not widely accepted nor embraced by organizations. The concept of “centralizing” employees into a corporate office is a structure that has been in effect since the industrial revolution, and the control and power it offered managers over their workers eventually grew into accepted corporate culture.
How the pandemic caused a mind-shift. When the pandemic forced office-based industries to work from home, workers began to see the benefits of working in a “decentralized” structure, where they gained back control over their autonomy over their work, and at the same time re-evaluated the importance they placed on work-life balance. In addition, both organizations and workers became acutely aware that the technology needed to sustain a remote work environment already existed.
Enter new hybrid environment. Two years later, many companies are doing this dance between going back to a centralized office, becoming fully remote, or somewhere in between this so-called “hybrid” environment. And the question many people are asking is: is this “hybrid workplace” only a half-measure, or is it the end destination of this workplace evolution?
Look at it this way: Before the pandemic, for over a hundred years, the pendulum was swung (and held) completely on the “centralized” part of the spectrum. In the course of just a few weeks, that same pendulum was forced to swing all the way to the complete opposite side of that spectrum and held it there for roughly 24 months. This forced “change in perspective” was certainly jarring, to say the least. It’s only natural, therefore, that as the pandemic restrictions start to slowly lift, that pendulum, and the perspective of office structures that comes with it, will need to swing back and forth before it finds its new equilibrium.
Exciting, new technology advances support remote work. Having said that, the best tell-tale sign of where that pendulum may eventually land is taking a look at the latest technology trends. This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has already highlighted Remote Working as one of the major featured trends, from improved webcams and sound-cancellation to holograms and virtual reality. The tech industry is taking full advantage of this new space, empowering both employees and employers to stay productive, engaged, and fully enabled in a decentralized environment.
Questions about office utilization remain. One of the most important and remaining factors that will continue to hold companies back from completely embracing remote work in 2022 is the question surrounding what to do with their current office structures. Most companies consider their offices among their high-value business assets, which is why we continue to see an insistence to return to the office, regardless of whether it is even relevant to the nature and productivity value of work.
Employee-centered policy is key. The most successful organizations have already learned that the only way to move forward and lean into this inevitable workplace evolution, is to start to really listen to their workers. The tables have turned. A decentralized structure has given power to the voices of the worker over the controlling voices of their managers. Leaders are now recognizing that in order to produce the best from their workers, they need to give them the autonomy to decide how and where they work.
It may be comforting to note that as this workplace evolution continues, corporate offices aren’t going to disappear. They will just be reinvented into something entirely new — something that can only be determined by the workers themselves. And we’ll have to wait for the pendulum to find its equilibrium before we truly find out for sure what that is.
Interview: Leni Rivera
Leni Rivera is a Workplace Experience specialist and author of its very first book in the industry. Her passion is creating work environments that enable employees to be both productive and happy, regardless of where that is. Additionally, Leni is currently working on her Master’s in Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.