What do you think the future of work looks like post-crisis?
Well, the future of work for employees after this global pandemic will be changeable. Much will depend on whether or when a truly effective vaccine is found.
Also, many industries will change dramatically, some will disappear. Certain career paths may fade and other paths will open up and surge. To work post-pandemic, everyone must be open to and willing to change and also to learn new skills. Above all, telework and other physical distancing venues will be predominant.
How should managers/leaders prepare?
This is a very powerful question. To lead and manage post-pandemic, all leaders and managers will need to:
- Do more planning and focus more on protecting employees' health and well-being not just focus on profit goals and claim THAT is their job.
- Learn to lead and manage more virtual teleworking teams. First of all don't call them remote teams. The word remote means less important than the home office employees. Every employee is important and working virtually everywhere. Secondly, inspire and lead morale.
"The evil of isolation from distance or differences undermines the true potential of team." ~ Kate Nasser, Author, Leading Morale
Lastly, empower the employees, don't abandon them. Empowerment doesn't mean leaving people alone. It means to share power and to collaborate with them when needed. Let them know it's OK to tap your expertise even though they are empowered.
- Measure results vs. time spent working. When everyone is working in offices, the trend is to focus on the "work day." This trend carried over to those who were early teleworkers (aka telecommuting) employees. Yet, people are often more productive when working from home and the "work day" is a different length. Results matter far more than time worked.
Do you think this is a step in the right direction and why?
All of these changes benefit both the employees and the business. Some of these changes are long overdue. Protecting employee health - with or without a pandemic plague - is humane and good business. Inspiring and leading morale is critical to business success and helpful to all involved. And measuring results vs. time spent working provides the business with profits and the employees with better quality of life.
Kate Nasser, President, CAS, Inc., Author, Leading Morale