Covid and the changing world of work

With the start of the new year and another lockdown in force, the Lens listened to a seminar on shifting cultures in the workforce. Although we are told that we’re all in the same boat, some of us are in canoes, dinghies, turbulent hovercrafts – and at times it feels we’re in a mere stringy life jacket!

Lockdown is clearly a marathon not a sprint. The pandemic has been a great equaliser in some ways, but most people are perched at their kitchen or spare room as opposed to in their own private office. It brings to the forefront that human interaction is still missing. We don’t go to work just to work and kids don’t go to school just to learn. We don’t eat out at restaurants just to eat.

What it has meant for workforces is that there is a shifting culture, empowering employees about where, when and how they work.

CEOs have started to listen to their workforce and some of the changes seen have put less emphasis on heavy admin procedures. Performance cycles for pay reviews are changing – even the timing of meetings within some businesses are being kept to 45 mins or 25 mins to allow for breaks in between. Google has mandated “no meeting weeks” to prevent burnout.

The Lens heard of some businesses that are starting new networks. Whereas before there would have been a large emphasis on women network, networks for new very active groups like family & carers have begun.

CEOs are attending listening circles with small numbers of staff to really listen to what is being felt within their businesses.

It is evident that the world of work is being redrawn with care of the workforce catapulted to the top of the agenda. Let’s hope so, anyway.