Organizations are facing the challenge of what work should look like now that restrictions from Covid-19 are beginning to lift. Cali Williams Yost is the founder and CEO of Flex + Strategy Group, a firm that helps organizations unlock performance and engagement by reimagining how, when, and where work gets done. During a recent episode of the Center Stage podcast, Yost shared insights with PMI CCO Joe Cahill on how organizations can lock in the benefits of what they learned about flexible work strategies during COVID-19.
Cahill: Polls show that more than half workers want to keep working from home after the pandemic. Are employers ready and willing to embrace this much of a shift away from the office culture of the past?
Yost: The flexible work ship has sailed. The argument that it can’t be done is not going to hold. But people also want to go back and be with the people they work with. Most are going to want a hybrid remote/on-site reality.
The real goal is to now look at a holistic, strategic approach around rethinking work. There is an awareness that it’s not going to go back. So how do you make it happen?
Cahill: What are forward-thinking organizations doing right now to plan this future of work?
Yost: They’re really stepping back and they’re trying to understand how work has been transformed by the pandemic. They are taking the time to say, what have we learned that we’re going to keep? How can we then add that back into the things about the way we worked before that still are important?
Then from that baseline learning, they are now saying, how do we have to redesign our workspaces? How do we have to re-align the ecosystem of our enterprise around this new way of working? Does our performance management system support the competencies that people need? How are we going to attract and retain our talent?
Cahill: We see a lot of potential for new projects to design this new reality. What will some of these projects look like?
Yost: One size is not going to fit all. So, different organizations are going to approach this redesign based on what they do and their business and what the needs are.
But in terms of the approach, it should be cross functional. You want to have HR working with facilities, working with technology, working with leadership from the business, so that they are able to be involved in terms of determining how, when and where work is done best within their particular businesses and what that innovation can look like. And you want to make sure that you are cascading and pulling in the input of your employees into that decision-making process.
Listen to the full podcast on Center Stage.