As We Step Back into the Office

Oct 03, 2021

As we return to our offices, we have an opportunity. We have an opportunity to think again how we work together, how we conduct meetings, how we assess the work of each other, how we create innovative situations for solving problems, how we manage ourselves and our teams.

18 months ago, we were hit with the unexpected. Our resilience was called for. Whether we were ready or not, we had to draw on whatever reserves we had. Since then, we have been shuttered up, working at home, and sometimes stepping out with great care. We’re finally at a point where we can step out with a bit more confidence thanks to the protection of vaccines and a bit more understanding about this virus.

40% of global workforce is considering quitting their join 2021. In July 2021, 4 million had quit. In August, 65% of people said they were looking for a new job and 88% of executives said they had higher turnover than normal. In September, there were 8.4 million unemployed and 10 million job openings. People are more aware of the impact of work on their lives and want change.

I talk about resilience as preparing for the unexpected. You are likely saying, but this is no longer unexpected. However, we are still in need of resilience. We are still in need of finding new ways to do things so that we can move forward and not allow ourselves to slip back into what had been. We call it returning to normal, but we can’t go there again because we have changed. We have the opportunity to use this moment to create new ways of working together that are responsive to the many lessons we learned about ourselves, our businesses, and our communities.

We are social creatures needing to be in relationships with others, needing to feel we belong, needing to see meaning in our lives and work. COVID challenged how we achieve these at work. The question at the moment is how do we address these needs in business now. As we step back into the office or laboratory or hospital or classroom or plant, how do we have to change how we work together and make it work better?

 My sincere hope is that many of you have been doing the five practices as described in my book Unlocked so that you have been nurturing your own resilience. Now is the time to translate them into the business setting. My guests and I will be addressing these questions on my radio show, Unlocked. I'll be joined by Dr. Ed Hoffman and Rami Abada. I hope you will join us, but in the meantime, please post the questions you would like to have my distinguished guests address. Just put them in the comments below, and then be sure to listen in on Thursday, October 7, at noon. See here for details.


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