Saturday, May 29, 2021

The office after Covid: Expectations v reality

Most of my colleagues and friends have been avidly reading and speculating about what the world of work will look like in 2021 and beyond. Covid has come and (not yet) gone. But many say that with the rollout of the vaccination programmes, we will soon be back to normal. 

Ok, ok, I know what you're thinking. We will never get back to normal! Indian and South African Coronavirus strains threaten the tranquillity, not to mention armies of anti-vaxxers who could be a source of new variants that are immune to the vaccine.

But let's err on the side of optimism and say, yes, we cracked this pandemic. Do we even want to go back to normal? A recent Ernst and Young report surveying over 16,000 professionals like you and me showed that they believed company culture had actually IMPROVED during the pandemic! 

54% of us also said that we would consider looking for a new job if our company did not provide us with post-pandemic workplace flexibility. 

A February 2021 Mckinsey report showed that e-commerce and digital technology has grown five times faster than normal during this pandemic. It's well known that digital tech generally does not require any face to face engagements. 

A digital marketer, software developer, webmaster or network engineer do not need to work from an office, ever. So how will these changes and new information affect the 'war for talent', company culture, and the future of the workplace?

With that in mind, I decided to survey knowledge workers like myself to find out what you think. I wanted to see if what you thought matched what I did and if what we are thinking matches the reality of what is beginning to happen in the workplace as we return (or don't return) to the office.

First off, almost all of my responses came from the USA and UK, where I have spent all of my career. Here are the departments you come from:

As you can see, it's pretty evenly balanced between departments - but no 'Legal'?

Here's a selection of your more recent comments, responding to the question: 'What's one change your company could make to improve your working life?'

Continue being flexible and recognizing that people have changed a lot over the past year. Incorporating what we’ve learned will go a long way with employee satisfaction

5/28/2021 4:17 PM

Child care

5/28/2021 4:07 PM

Approachable leadership - the hierarchy and too many levels generate a lack of trust, confidence and much rework.

5/28/2021 3:24 PM

More mental health resources

5/28/2021 3:06 PM

You can see the rest of the survey results here.

Or why not take the survey.