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Internal Insights

In March 2020 of course, that all changed. But for the vast majority of global corporate enterprises where products weren’t directly affected by the pandemic- amazingly, productivity nor profitability were adversely affected. Work from home for all- for the most part- it seemed, worked. 

2022 is about finding the right rhythms and cadences of who works where, when. While two years of essentially exclusive work from home did work, an evolution is necessary. But does that mean three days a week in office for every person and every organization is the right solution? 

Lessons usually aren’t taken from what worked before a disruption. Lessons are usually taken from what didn’t work before that disruption, combined with the opportunities granted by the disruption. 

Sony Pictures Entertainment, SVP NA Distribution Research, James Petretti notes a few of the opportunities he has seen percolate to top of mind:

The democratization of the diversity of thought is a win

If everyone’s box is of equal dimension, a level playing field is more easily seen. With top level executives having the same turf as fresh new talent within the enterprise, diversity of thought has been more easily showcased. Zoom doesn’t feel like a boardroom and thus there is an opportunity for the democratization of ideas presented to a group in a virtual meeting.

New opinions and new ideas bring innovation to the organization

It was mandatory for organizations to find new ways of doing the same old thing at the onset of the pandemic. It didn’t matter who had the idea- as long as it was a good one, to keep advancing the business in the face of pandemonium. 

Amplifying new voices in the organization is important

With new ideas and new innovations coming from new faces, leading organizations have realized the importance of ensuring a continuation of that democratization of the diversity of thought. It benefits rising talent within the organization as well as the organization itself.

In-person ‘incidental collisions’ are a great benefit  

The return to the office has showcased a key initiative missing from 100% work from home; incidental collisions. Some of the most innovative, biggest and best ideas come from random run-ins with colleagues. 

The new hybrid setup is both a challenge and an opportunity

But those random run-ins are happening in offices where folks are sitting at in-person desks, in virtual meetings. Meeting rooms are simply not available (where hybrid meetings are a touch more effective). But even in a perfect meeting room with the greatest A/V- a hybrid meeting is simply not immersive. There are advantages to being in-office which are currently not being realized.   

Rethinking how we gather and connect is the challenge upon us

The challenge is to find the right rhythm and cadence of in-person, hybrid and work from anywhere, based on the spaces available and the talent on the team at hand. Decisions around the number of days in an office can give way to decisions around achieving outcomes. There is a need to ensure that the current office infrastructure allows for collaboration. There is an imperative to continue to benefit from the type of interactivity achieved through the pandemic while gaining a new level of interactivity in this next phase of getting business done.

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