Work is no longer a place, but now place-unconstrained.
As everyone across the globe is watching the implementation and lifting of COVID restrictions, it is clear that there is a yearning to “Get back to normal”. The question that resonates in my head is “What is the new reality of our workplaces”?
For almost a year and a half the workforce has been adapting to the conditions of working from home, and adopting a better work/life balance. Is there a reason to go back to the typical 9 – 5?
I was recently reading an article about managing the new reality of work in the Harvard Business Review and the article and one of the key points that it mentioned was about executives in corporations seeing a silver lining with the pandemic as it allowed them to make their employees’ work lives more purposeful, productive, and flexible.
As companies adopted the technology for virtual work quickly employees are seeing the light that freelancers and contractors have seen for years- the ability to choose when and where they want to work. This enlightenment of the employees has made it possible for forward-facing companies to rework the traditional working environment and create one that is designed with the employee and corporation in mind.
Of course, this new model presents several challenges for mid-level managers to adapt to, but the changes open up a new world of opportunities for North Americans in particular. If this new hybrid model of working is implemented to create a balanced workflow for employees then the potential for burnout decreases. If the rate of employee burnout decreases then the social costs of the company should decrease accordingly as there is no need to onboard new employees to replace workers on medical leave.
I have always been a big believer in running organizations on lean principles and keeping corporate overhead low and employee morale high. If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that many employees do not need to be physically in the office to maintain an increased level of productivity. This means that corporations can downsize their physical space and reduce operating costs. This has been a growing trend with many start-up companies moving into co-working spaces to save money on rent and services.
The co-working space that my company currently calls home has over 7000 square feet of co-working booths, desks, and modular tables for me to use. I also have a classroom that I rent a dedicated space where we conduct our training classes. Internet, heat, lights, and power are all included in rent, so there is only one fixed expense that is required per month.
I am also finding that employers are directly offering remote working opportunities in job listings as a perk for potential employees. I think that it is worth it for employers to offer the remote working option as it now opens up the candidate pool to a broader geographical area. This means that companies can now select from across the world to “cherry-pick” the talent that is right for them rather than settle for an individual who is kind of a fit for the company but in the local area.
I am excited about the new hybrid model of work! I am personally finding that being able to balance my time between being in the office, and working remotely extremely refreshing. I can travel to different locations around town and work outside with different views for inspiration. I’m feeling more excited about projects that I am involved with, and I do not feel that “burnout, all work, and no play” feeling that I did at my more office/cubicle-based roles of the past.
I know that as the pandemic restrictions start to lift, we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with regards to the new non-conventional workplace. I’m also excited to see this new workplace lead to a surge of new digital marketing and developer roles that inspire constant learning and creativity. From this perspective…the workplace of the future looks awesome.