In a matter of weeks, the way most of us work has significantly shifted. Even if the Novel Coronavirus hasn’t sent your organization’s staff to work from their dining room tables, it may mean you are working long shifts in potentially high-risk situations, working in locations you did not expect, or in many cases, not working at all.
There is a deep need that most of us share to return to normalcy. To just get back to life the way it was before this pandemic started. We yearn to live and work the way we did just weeks ago. But the reality is, life will never return to exactly as it was. This pandemic is changing how we live and think about our communities.
Things will not be normal after this, that is a good thing.
Moments of crisis shine a very bright light on all that was broken in our systems, forcing us to confront uncomfortable realities. But crisis also breeds ingenuity and growth.
Organizations cannot waste this crisis. This is the moment to face what is broken in how we work, and radically and positively change the future of work. Covid-19 is raising issues that we will have to address and solve for in the coming months and years.
Even though this time is confusing, those questions and issues are quickly emerging.
- We can no longer ignore inequities at work.
- Minimum wage is insufficient, especially for essential work, like food preparation.
- Organizations will need to rethink what “wellness programs” mean
We need to rethink how we care for mental health and trauma.
- Employees may have a different expectation of transparency following the pandemic, and expect their organizations to share bad news, even when it’s scary.
- The value of “rugged individualism” has created harm, how do we center a community approach?
- Expertise matters. Personality is not enough.
- Good leadership is mission critical
We have the opportunity and the obligation to allow this moment to create better work experiences for our employees. This should not be wasted.
Use this time to learn, reimagine and redesign a more equitable, exciting and community focused workplace.
Katie Augsburger is a Founding Partner and Employee Experience Strategist for Future Work Design. She has been creating and implementing successful human resources programs for over 15 years. Her work has helped organizations win Oregon’s Best Company To Work, Fortune Magazine’s Most Flexible Workplace, and Fortune Magazine’s Top Consulting Firms among others. Katie has an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction as well as a B.S in Sociology. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and Certified Compensation Professional (CCP).