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Tech Leaders Play Vital Role in Defining the Future of Work
Two years into the pandemic, the U.S. economy remains fundamentally strong. When the history of this turbulent period is written, my hunch is that technology will be credited for keeping us going, despite the risks and obstacles confronting us.
It’s clear that several sectors of the economy have benefited from the accelerated pace of digital transformation spurred by Covid-19. The unexpectedly rapid transformation drove a cultural shift that may prove irreversible.
I’m talking, of course, about remote work and work-from-home (WFH), which began as a collection of ad hoc efforts to keep workers productive when offices were closed and then evolved quickly into a global trend.
“But the downside of remote work — particularly the deleterious effects on mentorship and person-to-person interactions that shape company culture — still trouble corporate leaders. More than a third of the executives polled in Deloitte’s 2021 Return to Workplaces survey said the biggest concern about hybrid or remote work was preserving company culture. Maintaining performance and collaboration also were top concerns,” writes Taylor Telford of The Washington Post.
Even the technology titans themselves seemed to favor a return to the pre-Covid status quo.
“The nation’s largest tech companies have held fast to the idea that their staffs will be working together in person again, even as they embraced hybrid work. Google, Microsoft and Apple have postponed their returns indefinitely, emphasizing that they were responding to employee calls for flexibility,” Telford writes.
Here’s where I believe that tech executives should weigh in and add their voices to the conversation. My hunch is that most tech leaders would say that it’s okay to trust the technologies that have already gotten this far and that instead of yearning for a return to pre-Covid norms, we should leverage the power of technology to invent and enable genuinely new forms of work.
I can think of many good reasons to accept remote work and WFH as the new normal, including the simple fact that they seem to increase productivity, especially among knowledge workers.
In a very human way, we’ve made the best of a bad situation and discovered latent strengths in our work culture. From my perspective, that’s a good thing and I am truly grateful for the digital technologies that have made it possible.
What’s your opinion on the future of work? How much of a difference have remote work and WFH made in your life? Share your thoughts with our worldwide community of technology executives and leaders. Our email is email@example.com
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