By Stern Strategy Group August 19, 2021
While we grow eager for a “return to normal” – which for some may include going back to a shared office space – the collective trauma we’ve experienced this past year demands a fresh approach.
How should a pandemic era workplace be designed? Will that model set a precedent for the office of the future? And how can organizations ensure employees feel physically and psychologically safe, and financially secure, in this new environment, one that is likely to shift again?
Stern Speakers represents several award-winning management thinkers who specialize in helping leaders find solutions to workplace challenges. Read on to find out how their frameworks, methodologies and insights are currently helping decision makers in every sector strategically develop an agile workplace model that serves the company and its employees, and prepares everyone for a different future.
Leveraging the Power of Psychological Safety – Fostering a culture where everyone feels empowered to express their concerns and offer solutions, especially in times of uncertainty, is paramount to success, says Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School. Edmondson coined the term “psychological safety” and sees it as a requirement for true innovation. For decades, she has been teaching organizations the value of psychological safety at work and she is currently showing companies how to leverage its benefits in the hybrid work space. No matter what workplace model you choose, Edmondson can equip your leaders and teams with the tools they need to successfully collaborate, innovate and remain resilient during and after any crisis.
Choosing an Economically Sound Workplace Model – For Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom, the office exodus is far overdue. In a 2017 TEDxStanford talk, Bloom encouraged his audience to “Go Ahead, Tell Your Boss You Are Working From Home,” citing org-wide benefits. The pandemic, however, has shifted that conversation, as echoed in his recent HBR IdeaCast feature “Hybrid Work Is Here To Stay. Now What?” Backed by his 10+ years of workplace research, Bloom offers leaders strategies for designing a cost-effective workplace model that meets the needs of both the company and its employees.
Promoting and Supporting Employee Mental Health – While the thought of returning to the office (even part-time) might excite some, it could just as easily unsettle others. Dr. Shantanu Nundy, physician, entrepreneur and author of “Care After Covid: What the Pandemic Revealed Is Broken in Healthcare and How to Reinvent It” (May 2021), is a leading authority on employee mental health. As companies navigate new and evolving safety protocols, Dr. Nundy – a pioneering innovator of digital tools aimed at expanding access to care – can help you design and implement integrated programs that address both the physical and mental health needs of employees at all levels of your organization.
Hard Decisions, Humanity and the Future of Work – Wharton Professor Peter Cappelli’s new book, “The Future of the Office: Work From Home, Remote Work, and the Hard Choices We All Face” (August 2021), could not be more timely. A globally recognized and award-winning scholar, he has been helping HR managers find solutions to workplace challenges for more than 30 years, and he is often called on by news outlets to comment when HR-related news stories are in the headlines. In a March 2021 Wall Street Journal article, he addressed employees directly, suggesting they think long and hard before opting to go fully remote if given the choice. Cappelli reminds us of the importance of leadership, purpose and humanity, particularly in times of uncertainty and guides leaders through the hard decisions that come with that territory.
NEED HELP DEVELOPING A SUSTAINABLE RETURN TO OFFICE STRATEGY?
If you are mapping out what the future of work will look like for your organization, contact us to learn how our clients can help. We’d be happy to work with you to custom create an advisory engagement and/or training program that uniquely meets the needs of your organization.