If there’s one positive of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that many companies have become more Human Centered in their approach to the workforce.
Along the way, these companies have paved the way for other innovators to rethink their approach to attracting talent and the future of work. We’ve seen many myths about the way work should “work” combust in the face of this terrible pandemic. Companies are finally prioritizing their employees’ mental health, work-life balance, and overall well-being.
Here are 3 specific myths that have slowly eroded following the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Work Must Take Place 5 Days Per Week
Iceland recently conducted an experiment where thousands of public-sector workers only worked 4 days a week but with 5 days of pay. Kickstarter announced they plan to move to a 4-day workweek for all employees in 2022. Even non-corporate jobs like fast food workers at Shake Shack have benefited from a 4-day workweek in recent years.
With a talent market hotter than ever and employees working even longer hours and burning out, companies are realizing they’ve had it too good for too long.
They need to put the human needs of their employees first and many are choosing to do so by working shorter weeks, especially with reports of productivity being the same or better in the Iceland 4 day a week experiment.
2. Productive Work Only Occurs In An Office
If you work in Corporate America, you likely haven’t had to go into an office for over a year now. At first, it was a shock to the system for many to have to construct a makeshift office from home. But over time, we got used to it and have been just as productive.
Which is why many smart employers aren’t mandating their employees to go back to the office even with pandemic restrictions lifted.
After all, if people are just as productive working from home as they were from working in an office, why force them to go back?
3. We Must Work Our Employees Into The Ground For As Much Value As Possible
Most of us saw things we never expected to see last year. Children and pets were running in and out of Zoom meetings. Working parents juggled e-learning and work with ease (though it definitely didn’t look easy). All of us were unintentionally invited into each other’s homes.
We saw a side of people we never expected to see.
I think that made each of us appreciate everyone’s lot in life more.
We’re not just employees. We’re real people with real families and real lives outside of the office. Smart executives saw this and invested in mental health programs, childcare subsidies, and other innovative benefit programs to ensure they supported their employees during these challenging times.