In the three years, we have seen executives make statements about re-thinking the workplace. Plans to drive changes that create more flexible options, such as working from abroad, have been posted on corporate websites, social media and reported across news outlets. Most of these changes are driven by the worldwide virtual experiment forced by the global pandemic and a combination of employee demand and executives realizing the continuation of positive business outcomes in the new work setup.
But we have a significant challenge ahead of us if we want our workplaces to work for everyone. It’s not just whether we will be virtual or in person, but also how we build healthy practices for healthy workplaces. Healthy teams and leaders were not common in many cases, and a forced virtual environment provided a break from a barrage of poor experiences. For others, the virtual environment was an unhealthy space, creating isolation for an unprecedented number of people. And of course, so many people continued going to a building for work, their health and the health of their families constantly at risk from an ever-changing bio-threat.
Where are we headed, and will any of this be sustainable? Most importantly, how do we build healthy workplaces, no matter their format, and is this even possible?
Work Imagined: The blog, will document the exploration of these questions and what it means to build healthy workplaces. The hope is to contribute to the exchange of ideas so employees and leaders can find the best way forward, putting people at the center of decisions and making healthy workplaces the common experience.