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It was and is interesting to observe how focusses have changed and concerns shifted over the last 18 months. From the beginnings of the crisis (that I documented on extensively), over the long phases of lockdown – settling into things, kind of – to now: a time of discussions on future work models, so-called ‘New Normals’, frustrated managers, new concepts of leadership, jobs quit, and life models reconsidered, to mention just a few.
Below I will post those links that I have shared most the last weeks and months.
One of the main issues of concern and of, sometimes heated, discussions – now that we are facing a second winter with COVID19 – evolve around the vaccination. The questions discussed range from: ‘should there be sanctioned mandatory vaccinations’ to the fear people have of possible long-term harm especially the mRNA vaccines might cause.
The latter point is the topic of an article I found at the Medical Center of the Ohio University: How can we know the COVID19 vaccine won’t have long-term side effects?
Work related: This little 8 minute video is one I showed and discussed in many sessions. It reflects on different perspectives people have on their home office situations. Two Harvard professors answer questions from Kelefa Sanneh about their respective home office situations and how they see the future. In addition, Mr Sanneh interviews two CEOs from tech companies, who share their opinions, experiences and practical plans for the future of their companies.
Many people have found that the new work situation they were forced to follow had its benefits. The corona crisis, besides all the tragic losses, also revealed things that were less okay than we thought. We are creatures of habit and can get used to many things. We are, sometimes surprisingly, adaptable to different or changed and changing circumstances. But once something has changed for the better, we don’t want to let go of it so willingly.
At the beginning of the pandemic, employees did what had to be done and worked from home whenever and wherever possible. For some, the work situation at home posed severe challenges, and was strenuous and taxing. But many also experienced these new circumstances as quite liberating and enjoyed not only the flexibility, but also other things like not having to drive, or the peace and quiet home office provided.
Many experienced work life under corona as so positive that they are not willing to go back to the ‘old ways’ now that the pandemic crisis seems to be coming to an end. They do not want to lose a regained quality of life and are even willing to change jobs if their current ones don’t allow keeping the changes. These employees are quitting their jobs in such large numbers that the phenomenon has already been given its own name and a Wikipedia entry: The Great Resignation.
Also: More people plan to quit as return-to-work plans go into effect (cnbc.com) and The Great Resignation goes global (Washington Post)
Also check the BBC article: The bosses who want us back in the offices
Many common beliefs have been questioned over the last months and it is interesting to take a closer look at some of them, which I will try to do over the course of the next days or weeks.
I am also revisiting a topic from last year triggered by the article from BBC work life: Why introverts excelled in home office during the pandemic. This links up to an ‘old’ favorite TED talk: Susan Cain on the power of introverts and a little test to find out where we stand on the continuum between extroversion and introversion. Also worth a read is this short comment by Coco Khan from the Guardian Hurray, we can meet people, now can I get some time alone?
Another topic of interest, at least to me, were the revelations of the Pandora Papers. Here I am preparing a text from the New York Times on The City of London as Major Money Hiding Place
List of links I used:
Walkable Cities; a TED talk I watched with many groups on more livable urban designs away from a focus on vehicles to one on better quality of life. This is an extremely interesting topic that deserves a post of its own, especially since it links up with climate change.
Jeff Speck’s follow up talk, Four ways to make cities more walkable
The Wikipedia entry on New Urbanism is also interesting
Also worth watching in connection with work – life balance is Patty Mccord’s TED talk