How would we like to work?

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During the pandemic, the topics of work-life balance, healthy work environments, satisfying work etc. came even more into focus than they had before. Work environments underwent dramatic changes in various lockdown situations. Whereas in many jobs or professions, employees and workers had no choice as to still go to their respective work places, others, especially office workers, experienced working from home as a new normal.

Towards the end of the pandemic or the emergency situations, discussions intensified about how people wanted to work: which changes induced by the pandemic situation would we like to keep, where would we like to go back to how things were before – if at all, what did we truly miss etc. In short: how do we want to work?

Some cynics might answer: not at all, but when probed most agree that A) it depends on how you define work and B) we all want to do something….

This question is a great one for discussion: asking who would continue with their current jobs if they didn’t have to work for money. Might sound trivial at first sight, but it isn’t. It is a litmus test for how happy people are with their current job situations. (So you do have to know the group or person you ask quite well to know if you CAN ask such a question, or if you risk triggering a suicide wave.)

Another intensive discussion (has) erupted around the question home office or back to the company. It seems that the parties in this dispute take on clear shapes: on one hand, employees who wish for utmost flexibility, on the other, company leaders who want ‘their’ staff to come back.

In this context, the following text offers insights into office designs and how they improve or disrupt different kinds of tasks. It is based on research studies conducted. One aim of the research was to find out what kind of office structures support collaboration and communication, and which environment is best when employees need to concentrate on tasks alone.

Instead of merely exchanging opinions based on personal experiences and preferences, the authors claim, employers and employees should attempt to find out which environment is truly the best for the jobs that need to be done.

The Truth about Open Space Offices

More sources:

TED Series/ The Way We Work

Warren Valdmanis: What makes a job good?

Patty McCord: 8 lessons on building a company people enjoy working for work

You also find these links under page TED Talks including some on leadership

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