What is certain, however, in all the uncertainty, is that workforce playbooks will require a comprehensive overhaul post-pandemic. The world of work before the crisis will never look the same again after.
According to Ricardo Vargas, executive director of the Brightline Initiative and an experienced project management specialist, individuals and organizations alike are suffering from the pandemic, not only because of the continuing risk posed by the virus, but also because of the uncertainty around how we will operate in the future.
“The worst part [of the pandemic] for companies and individuals is uncertainty,” Vargas said in a wide-ranging interview with Michelle Anthony, LHH executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “What is causing all the disruptions is that we don’t know if next week will be much better, or it will be much worse.”
If the world has changed forever, what can we do as organizations and individuals to prepare for an entirely new sense of normal? Vargas said that our mindset going into this is critical and the apprehensive easing of full lockdowns to staggered re-openings will require all of us to change the way we view work, our relationships with our employees and employers, and our careers.
There are three main areas that Vargas believes will change fundamentally when we start to ease the restrictions that have been prompted by the pandemic:
On the leadership front
Leaders must have empathy for people coming back to work, Vargas noted. This kind of leadership was perhaps best embodied by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has used social media to keep in touch with her citizens during the pandemic. Her willingness to share details about her family, and her casual attire, have won praise at home and around the world. She is a successful leader because she truly empathizes with the people she is leading.