Small business owners are caught between the proverbial “rock and a hard place” when it comes to crafting workplace policies in a post-pandemic world where employees are demanding flexible work models.
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The genesis of “summer hours” or “summer Fridays” is unknown but it was first embraced in New York City during the “Mad Men” era of the 1960s when movers and shakers at ad agencies and publishing houses high-tailed it out of their Manhattan offices early each week to reach their summer homes some three hours away in The Hamptons.
“Beginning in the 1960s, thousands of professionals working at publishing houses and creative agencies deserted the office early on the Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Some left around midday; others took alternating Fridays completely off. That way, they could beat the weekend traffic to the Hamptons,” wrote Stephanie Buck in 2017.
The pandemic’s effect on the workplace is a bit like having driven off a cliff – no matter how much we want to turn around or go back to the way things were before, it simply isn’t possible, especially when it comes to company culture in a hybrid work environment.
“Some leaders are thinking about what new culture and a new way of working might look like, and how to perpetuate a culture in a primarily hybrid world,” says Bryan Hancock, the global leader of McKinsey’s talent work.
Business leaders and managers aspiring to greatness have no shortage of avenues to learn and grow from books to blogs to TED Talks to podcasts.
Honestly, there is so much content to consume that half the battle is cutting through the clutter to decide where to focus your time.
When it comes to predicting the future, there is nothing like a worldwide pandemic, economic turbulence, and geopolitical turmoil to remind us that forecasting can be an activity with more pitfalls than curtain calls.
Yet business leaders understand that they must keep looking ahead because sailing their companies into uncharted waters blindly, without preparation or a sense of direction, is the surest way to end up wrecked on the rocks.
Move over “Great Resignation” … meet “Quiet Quitting” the latest labor force zeitgeist that is trending on TikTok and across virtual water coolers this summer.
“In the wake of the Great Resignation, we now have quiet quitting,” reported Houston’s KHOU (channel 11).
While the much publicized Great Resignation continues with 4 million-plus U.S. workers voluntarily leaving their jobs each month for the past 13 consecutive months, quiet quitting is not actually quitting one’s job but the antithesis of the “hustle culture.”
For many businesses this was to be the summer where employees returned to the office from remote and hybrid work as the country got a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a world turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas small businesses are finding their way towards a workplace “new normal” as the coronavirus crisis nears two years.
And whether it is a return to office, work from home (WFH), or hybrid model that combines in-person and remote work, one thing for certain is that there is no going “back to normal”.
“Too many are asking whether we will go back to normal. To me, the problematic word is “back.” There is no going back to pre-COVID times. There is only forward—to a new and uncertain future that is currently presenting us with an opportunity for thoughtful design,” said Amy C Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School.
The thing about inventing the wheel or discovering fire, is that you are in uncharted territory when it comes to your first flat tire or when a spark starts a wildfire.
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an entirely new remote workplace culture, and it appears that it is not going away, even as the vaccine rate increases around the world, as many companies are embracing a hybrid model going forward that will feature some WFH (work from home) component.
Decades from now when we look back at the evolution of the workplace, we will likely talk about events in terms of B.C. (Before COVID-19) and A.P. (After Pandemic).
The coronavirus crisis has been a defining moment in how we accomplish work, with most now agreeing that what comes after the pandemic for the workforce and workplace will not be the same as before COVID-19 swept the world by surprise.