Hopes For Our Future Workplaces

photo by Aaron Burden

A group of thoughtful and interested business professionals get together each week to share Lessons Learning.  As a group, we have learned and experienced a lot over the last six months. I recently posed a question to the group:

What learnings do you hope we will carry forward into the future workplace?

TRUST MORE:  Working from home has created a scenario in which managers are no longer able to monitor work in person. They must trust their direct reports to accomplish their responsibilities in a timely manner.  For many that were fearful or skeptical of remote working practices, they have seen more productivity from their teams.  

Our hope, as we move back into the workplace and/or a hybrid version of remote and in person, is that the increase in trust moves with us.  

According to a  study published in Harvard Business Review  people working in high-trust companies reported 74% less stress than those working in low-trust companies. They also report 106% more energy at work, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, 29% more satisfaction with their lives, and 40% less burnout.

INCREASE EMPATHY:  The work from home model was thrust upon us and we all had to juggle. Whether it was work and children, work and school, work and pets, work and caring for a family member or just the blurring of work and home responsibilities, our caring and understanding; our empathy for each other increased.  We are all going through the same or something similar and it has been easier to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.

Our hope is that we carry this increased empathy into the future workplace. When team members believe they are understood and supported, relationships are improved and engagement increases.  

WORK / LIFE BALANCE:  We have all experienced loss during this time.  Too many people have experienced the loss of a loved one. Others losses include loss of income, missed milestone celebrations, the ease and enjoyment of social interaction and activities and many others.  These losses have reminded us of the importance of working to live rather than living to work.  Balance is the Key.  

Our hope is that organizations review their policies and practices and make changes where necessary to support their team members in setting the right priorities and balancing their lives.

AGILE CHANGE  Someone said; “From disruption comes innovation.”  There is no doubt we have all experienced disruption big and small.  The pandemic, economic challenges and social injustice are some of the big ones.  Organizations and individuals have been forced to make changes and make them quickly in order to survive.  

Our hope is that we are not faced with such dire situations in the future that force us to change in such a quick manner.  Let us take the learnings from these fast paced, innovative changes and not only memorialize them so we are prepared in the future but also use them to regularly look for new opportunities.  Let us reduce or eliminate the obstacles and red tape that stall and frustrate. 

EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY:  Where would we be without Zoom and the many other virtual platforms.  However, these are not the only technologies where we have seen increased use.  Collaboration and project management tools such as Google drive and Trello, communication tools such as Slack, performance management and team member engagement tools such as BambooHR and Lattice and e-learning platforms such as SkillShare and Udemy are examples of technology that can improve the team member experience.

Our hope is that more and more companies continue the adoption of technology that eases administration, increases productivity and allows team members to have a more strategic and purposeful impact on the organization.

report by VMWare on the Digital Workspace shows that digitally empowered employees are more engaged, productive and satisfied which mean that produce higher quality and quantity of work driving at least 5% additional revenue growth over three years.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION:  The death of George Floyd sparked a national uprising through rallies and protests.   Covid19 helped to put a spotlight on systemic racial injustices with regard to health care and economic issues.   

Individuals sought to educate themselves and participate in transparent and many times difficult conversations. Organizations began looking and listening within to evaluate hiring, pay, development and other practices.  Many took action.

Our hope is that the conversation continues and education increases everyone’s understanding of the many marginalized communities and systemic practices that need to be changed.  More than that, our hope is that conversation turns into action; meaningful action.  Action from individuals and from organizations. It is long past time that things change.

Quantum workplace study reported:

  • 61% of employees believe diversity and inclusion strategies are beneficial and essential.
  • 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity an important factor when considering employment opportunities.

2018 Harvard Business Review Survey found Companies with higher-than-average diversity had 19% higher innovation revenues.

According to a 2015 McKinsey report, companies in the top quarter for racial/ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean.


Lessons Learning takes place every Wednesday at 4:30 pm ET. We welcome everyone to join in the conversation. Search for Lessons Learning on Eventbrite to register each week.

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