After acknowledging the gaps that still exist in employer/employee collaboration, my article last week about WfH, ended on a note of optimism…
‘…for the moment, we are witnessing what is possibly the biggest breakthrough in the world of work since the introduction of the 5 day week in 1932.’
My optimism was risky because in my article on August 11th I had shared research which showed how work throughput done remotely (WfH) was 6% less compared to office-based work (Hybrid) and took as much as 16% longer to complete.
Those findings seemed to back up the misgivings that employers were having at that time about remote work.
But my optimism turned out to be justified because the employers have now announced plans to invest in new tools and strategies which will support the WfH option going forward.
So, I don’t mean to crow (well, only a little) but in my January 27th article (all my articles are archived below this one) I quoted legendary Chinese general Sun Tzu’s observation that ‘opportunity comes out of chaos.’ Well, he was spot-on with that regarding Covid and the future of work.
Organisations and the people working for them now look set to grasp the opportunity to create a new work environment, based on improved practices with mutually beneficial conditions.
In the meantime, The FT Weekend hasfeatured an in-depthreport into how the world’s workforces have been reacting to the ideas triggered by the Pandemic including …
> China, where there are flickers of a social movement called Tang Ping or ‘lying flat.’ It’s supported by young professionals who reject the underlying levels of high stress and choose to opt for a slower life.
> the US, where after months of clinging on to jobs because any work was better than unemployment, people are voting now with their feet. The ‘Great Resignation’ reflects the phenomenon of employees quitting jobs for better pay or better conditions – or, as in the tang ping movement, leaving the labour market entirely.
The pandemic made it possible for us to rethink the way we work. Could it lead to us rethink the way we live?