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.
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Today’s Work Strategy:
The pandemic is finally (fingers crossed!) starting to become a thing of the past, and as a result, workers are looking forward to what’s next in this new work environment. Apprehensions exist on both sides of organizations – workers as well as company leaders. What will this new post-pandemic workplace look like?
As company leaders are developing strategies on the best way forward for their organizations, here are a few tips on what to keep in mind.
1. Understand the pendulum phenomenon
- Before the pandemic, the vast majority of office workers worked in company offices, holding the pendulum steadfast to one side for over a hundred years.
- When the pandemic struck, within a matter of days, workers were forced to work from home, swinging that pendulum 180 degrees. Additionally, workers lost their ability to seek refuge and joy in social activities.
- This state went on for much longer than anyone anticipated. This is why, as pandemic restrictions slowly lift, everyone is wanting to get back to being with other people. Vacation rentals and airline flights are skyrocketing (in price and demand), and events, concerts, and festivities across the country are reopening to a joyous welcome. In the same way, many workers are looking forward to being back in the workplace.
- History and psychology will tell us, however, that this joyous return to the familiar is temporary. As people start to get their fill of being back in the office with peers, other familiar needs and preferences for what worked well for them during the pandemic will return. Alongside this, technology will continue to advance with innovative ways to work more effectively in a remote environment, carving an easier path for both workers and companies to efficiently exist in a new environment.
- This is why it will take some time before we reach a final destination for the new workplace experience. The pendulum will need to swing back and forth before it finally finds its equilibrium.
The evolution of place means
an evolution in work
- For over a century, work structures comprised of workers being centralized to corporate structures, or offices. This environment naturally dictated organizational structures and hierarchies, with supervision turning into management, productivity measures focusing on hours spent working, and corporate policies shaping employee behavior in offices while at the same time prescribing how time can be spent outside to office.
- The pandemic has not only shattered this centralized structure, allowing employees to work outside of the company offices, it has also proven that the digital age we live in today enables it.
- A new, decentralized structure now changes the ways in which organizational structures, management styles, productivity measures, and corporate policies are shaped as well. Passing the torch of autonomy of work from managers to employees means a shift in paradigm for how work—and people—is managed. Focus is no longer on where and when people work, but on how they work, and managers are no longer managing people as much as they will be managing the work itself. This is why the real evolution of the post-pandemic workplace experience is really just beginning.
Arriving at the Future Workplace is a marathon, not a sprint
- The pandemic has forced companies to face new realities that they are now left to deal with as the pandemic lifts. The shift in the workplace environment is only the beginning. And while that is the most important shift to have affected organizations across the nation, it brings with it an entire shift in the ways organizations are structured, operated, measured, and valued (by workers and customers alike). That’s why it’s only now, as the pandemic lifts and a new work environment is tested, that the real work begins.
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.
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