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.
The Future of Workplace:
As the coronavirus case numbers improve and vaccination efforts accelerate in the US in general, we are beginning to get a glimpse of how companies are envisioning the future of their workplace post-pandemic. Over the last few weeks, several of Silicon Valley’s tech giants already released announcements on the re-opening of their offices and the expected return of employees to the workplace.
Remote, Hybrid, or Return Fully? It is apparent that the initial phases of reentering the workplace will call for a hybrid approach, with the majority of employees continuing to work remotely. As local government and CDC restrictions ease, there may be an expectation for employees to return to the office fully. And while this may be the case for the second phase of reentry, it may not be the case long-term.
That’s because it’s simply too early to tell.
The workplace – regardless of where that is or how it is defined – is driven by a corporate culture, which is always centered on people. As we start to come out of the dark clutches of the pandemic, people themselves will evolve, thus requiring corporate culture, policies, and priorities to evolve. And as this evolution unfolds, so will the workplace.
Determining today for example, whether the workplace should be redesigned as a solely interactive hub with meeting rooms and collaboration areas, or whether to expect everyone to return to using their own cubicles with no hoteling options, is like putting the cart before the horse.
There will inevitably be a continued need for employees to work from anywhere, as there had already been prior to the pandemic. But to determine the future of the workplace, and what that will look like, we first need to understand how the pandemic has affected human behavior, human interaction, and under what conditions people are now most able to thrive.
It would be unwise to underestimate the impact the pandemic has had on people. Scientists and experts at Harvard University say that much like the Great Depression and World War II, there will be a lasting impact on every part of our generation as we return to life after the pandemic and that these “broad but hard-to-predict effects will affect society for decades to come.” (Powel, 2020).
The workplace environment that once supported employees to thrive 13 months ago may not meet the needs for the same employees to thrive when they return to the office post-pandemic. Understanding the parameters of the “new normal” will be the building blocks for the future of the workplace.
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.
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.